And Rio believes criticism of the Spanish striker has been over the top.
Ferdinand said: "People jump on the bandwagon. He is a great player and has proved that to everybody.
"Two months ago, everyone was saying what a world-class player he is and one of the best strikers in the world, so to become a bad player overnight just doesn't happen.
"I heard the pundits the other night hammering him.
"He has been injured for a long period of time and is just on his way back. You cannot expect him to be the same straight away.
"I'm under no illusions that if I play, I will be coming up against a top-class player.
"You would expect him to produce a world-class performance."