Ferdinand - suspended from tonight's date with Croatia - said: "Of course we should have qualified already. None of the players would say any different.
"We've underachieved as a nation for many years. We've not been producing."
But Rio hit back at critics. He added: "It's a discredit to footballers to say we're work-shy celebrities.
"We all want to win games and trophies."
Croatia legend Robert Prosinecki claims England's 'Golden Generation' are failures.
He said: "With those players England should have won at least one tournament in the last eight years."