|Born||1978 11 07|
|Desc||The prototype defender of the modern age Ferdinand was the trailblazer for, and best example of, what is now a staple of every backline: the ball-playing centre-half. At his elegant peak Ferdinand made defending look easy and while others were perhaps more effective few did it so effortlessly. His partnership with Nemanja Vidic was the standard all others aspired to for years and still do to this day|
|Org||English National Team|
|Club as Player||Queens Park Rangers|
|West Ham United|
|Wife||Rebecca Ferdinand [passed away]|
|Boxing Coach||Richie Woodhall|
2013 11 05 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand on Paul Scholes] For me, it’s Paul Scholes. He’ll do ridiculous things in training like say, “You see that tree over there?” – it’ll be 40 yards away – “I’m going to hit it”. And he’ll do it. Everyone at the club considers him the best
2014 09 20 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand on David Moyes’ reign at Manchester United] He’d slowly lost us. I didn’t enjoy playing under him. Sometimes our main tactic was the long, high, diagonal cross. It was embarrassing. It was always how to stop the other side. Moyes set us up not to lose. We’d been accustomed to playing to win
- 2015 05 02
- Rebecca Ferdinand passed away after a battle with breast cancer, aged just 34
2015 03 13 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand on Christiano Ronaldo] Is Ronaldo on par with all-time greats like Maradona and Pele? Yeah, absolutely, 100 per cent. Him and Messi, we are probably not giving them as much credit as they deserve because this is their era and we are seeing them play. The Brazilian Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, these guys were scoring 25 to 30 goals a season and we all said they were amazing and the greatest. If Messi and Ronaldo score 25 to 30 goals we are saying they are having a poor season. And they have been performing at the highest level for the last six or seven years
2015 05 02 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand on John Terry and Vidic] Just because we no longer get on does not mean I’ve lost my admiration for him as a footballer. There’s a reason why John and Nemanja have the type of noses they do and that’s because they like to attack every ball
2015 05 02b Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand announce his wife death] My soul mate slipped away last night. Rebecca, my wonderful wife, passed away peacefully after a short battle with cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. She was a fantastic loving mother to our three beautiful children. She will be missed as a wife, sister, aunt, daughter and granddaughter. She will live on in our memory, as a guide and inspiration
2015 05 30 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand on the football community’s support following the tragic death of his wife] The day it was announced the Rebecca had died, we were overwhelmed by message of support. The kids saw it all and were telling me, ‘Look Dad, have you seen what they are doing for Mum?’ It was refreshing to see such compassion in the game, with tribalism removed. At the funeral there were players from my England and West Ham days, the QPR squad with Chris Ramsey and his staff as well as Harry Redknapp. Nemanja Vidic even flew in from Italy and back again as he had to be at training with Inter Milan the same day
2015 11 10 Retrieve
[on David Beckham] David Beckham is up there with the best passers I’ve ever played with; over a long distance he was ‘radar foot’. Some left footers look beautiful when they pass the ball. His right foot was like that – it even sounded nice when he hit the ball
2015 11 28 Retrieve
[on Roy Keane] I remember my first training session: I got the ball from the keeper, I passed it to Gary Neville at right back and Keane just exploded, saying: ‘You passed it sideways, that’s the easy pass! You’re not at Leeds or West Ham now!’ At the time I thought: ‘What’s he talking about?’ Then when I got home, I sat and thought about it and thought: ‘Yeah, you’ve got to try and affect the game’
2015 12 29 Retrieve
[on Sir Alex Ferguson] We played Benfica away and I think we got beat. We didn’t play well and he was shouting at me and I thought I was one of the best players on the day. So I going back at him. And the problem is, which I failed to learn quickly, is that the more you shout at him, the louder he gets, and the more aggressive he gets, and the closer he gets to you
2015 12 30 Retrieve
[on Sir Alex Ferguson] The boss defends his players to the hilt and that’s why he gets great respect from the players. They know they can trust him 100%. It is something on which the whole foundations of this club are built
2016 02 18 Retrieve
[on Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic’s Partnership] I’m always asked about our partnership, did you do specific training etc. Not really no, it was something that just worked very naturally. He was very aggressive, loved attacking the 1st ball in or out of the box, getting right into the opposing strikers, and I liked the sweeping up and covering type stuff. But our partnership brought out the best in our games and made us strive harder to be the best. My favourite partner to play alongside – YES
2016 02 19 Retrieve
[on Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic’s Partnership] With Vidic, I know exactly where he’s going to be, without speaking
2016 02 20 Retrieve
[on Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic’s Partnership] We didn’t work on it in training, we could smell each other’s movement, you just knew, it was instinct. I knew when he was going to go tight and I’d go round and cover. I knew when he was going to drop off, I’d push in. I knew when he was in a bit of trouble, I’d always hang back and be that safety net for him. He was the best partner and favourite partner I played with
2016 02 21 Retrieve
[Quote on Gary Neville] Young players nowadays should look back at the way that he played the game, not just in terms of his defending but the way he overlapped and attacked
2016 06 23 Retrieve
[on Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United] He became a defender that was feared, he could fight with the most physical, he crunched into tackles, he attacked the ball better than anyone I’ve ever seen. But as he will tell you with a smile, he could also play with the ball too, which made him complete & a great defender. Because he was so good in the aggressive/attacking the ball areas people probably looked over his ability with the ball to his annoyance!
2016 06 24 Retrieve
[on Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United] To see what an unbelievable force he became while at Man Utd means the work he committed himself to physically and mentally is truly huge. He worked on his strength in the gym, worked out what was needed for him to succeed in the Premier League and then started to establish himself in our team
2016 08 13 Retrieve
[Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand on Paul Pogba] Paul Pogba is a huge talent and someone with the personality to handle that price tag. He can do everything. He is still working out the best way to use all of his weapons but, once he does, he will be an absolute monster of a player
2017 04 21 Tweet
[Ugo Ehiogu: Former England defender dies after suffering cardiac arrest] Can’t believe the news that Ugo Ehiogu has passed away. Calm & warming vibe when in his company. My heart goes out to his family.
2017 09 19 Retrieve
[Ferdinand confirms move into boxing] When Betfair approached me about the Defender to Contender challenge, the chance to prove myself in a new sport was a real draw. Boxing is an amazing sport for the mind and the body. I have always had a passion for it and this challenge is the perfect opportunity to show people what’s possible. It’s a challenge I’m not taking lightly, clearly not everyone can become a professional boxer, but with the team of experts Betfair are putting together and the drive I have to succeed, anything is possible
2017 09 30 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand remembers former team-mate Park Jisung’s performance against AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League] I remember we played against Milan in Milan and Andrea Pirlo was at the centre of everything that they had done. And the manager played Jisung Park on him as a man-marking job, I’m sure Pirlo woke up the next morning, he looked at the bottom of his bed and expected to see Jisung Park there. He was that good. Whatever the manager set out for him to do, whether it was to defend against somebody, stop someone playing, or go in there and make a difference in the opposing team’s box, he’d carry that out
2017 10 02 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand reveales his aim in boxing stretches little further than having one fight] I want to see if I can get a licence and become a professional and have one fight. I am not looking to have a career here. I am looking to have a professional fight and I will see where I go then
This is not a joke. Hopefully, I will get a license, go on to become a professional and fight someone. Boxing can’t be a gimmick. If I take it lightly, I will get hurt
2017 11 27 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand reveals the much spoken about ‘golden generation’ of English football did not achieve success in proportion to their quality because of their intense club rivalries] It was down to, from my perspective, the obsession with winning. I didn’t want to see Frank Lampard have an edge on me. It was the same with Steven Gerrard and England, when we were battling them Liverpool for the Premier League. I didn’t want to sit around and have a beer with him, because I didn’t want to hear what Liverpool were doing. I think that’s what held us back
2017 12 28 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand comments on Virgil van Dijk] When you find someone like Virgil Van Dijk, who is very good with the ball but is also very good in defence, you start to jump and go crazy
2018 03 15 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand on Roberto Baggio] We used to call him Badge. He had the skills man! The ponytail, Madonna fancied him, the lot. He was brilliant, living the dream
- 2018 05 13
- Rio Ferdinand won a Bafta TV award for his documentary called ‘Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad’ and he made an emotional thank you to Kate Wright
2018 05 23 Retrieve
[On BT Sport, Jake Humphrey asked Rio Ferdinand if Nemanja Vidic ‘made him cry’] No, it was Sir Bobby Charlton. He came down and started speaking to me about the history of the club, and what it meant to be the captain to go up the steps and pick up the trophy. He said a few nice, kind words and then I saw my family on the other side and it just hit me - my lip started going and I started to well up a little bit. I remember Vida just stood there and said, ‘Rio, not here’… And I went, ‘Sorry Vida, yeah’ and we went up [to collect the trophy]
- 2018 10
- Rio Ferdinand got engaged to his girlfriend Kate Wright in October 2018 while on holiday in Dubai
- 2018 11 02
- The Sun exclusively revealed Rio and Kate are planning to try for a baby ‘immediately after their wedding’. And after being hit with thousands of congratulatory messages, Rio, 39, took to Instagram today to pay tribute to his fans and their unwavering support
2019 06 17 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand claims he has spoken to Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward about the sporting director position] I’ve always spoken to Ed since I left, anyway. I had that type of relationship with him. I’ve not seen him at a game, so all the chats I’ve had with him have been on the phone or I go and see him when I’m in London
I’m not the type to dilly-dally around. I’ve seen the stuff in the papers. ‘What’s that role about?’ I’ve asked that question – so yes, I have spoken to him. I’m very honest and Ed’s open and honest with me. Manchester United and the powers that be will decide as and when they are going to put someone into that role
If I am the person on that list and the person they are going to talk to, then that time will come. It’s nice to be on a list in such a responsible role at such a prestigious club. If the call comes I will say, ‘thank you very much for that’, but if that call doesn’t come, I’ll not lose sleep over it
2019 10 16 Retrieve
[England’s players were subjected to racist abuse during Monday night’s 6-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Bulgaria in Sofia] Will there even be a punishment? What type of punishment…. Will this show us how serious racism is taken by the powers that be?
2019 10 17 Retrieve
[David Moyes was too keen to impress his authority on the club and over-stretched himself] David Moyes’ hands were on everything. He was involved in the scouting, he was involved in the analysis of opposing teams, the physiotherapy, the doctors. He was involved in taking every training session. He was involved in every team meeting, every video that was being done. You can do that at a club like Everton, where the demands are not as big, but at Manchester United, you’ve got to delegate
2019 10 17 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand advises Harry Kane to leave Tottenham] If you look at it as if you’re an individual, put yourself in like Harry Kane’s shoes, you’re saying ‘I’m off’. I’ve got to be honest with you, I’d be gone because I’ve not got time to hang around. I could get injured next season, I could lose form etc. I want to win now. I’ve given most of my career to this club and they haven’t [won anything]
Yeah, you go very close, you can keep going very close, they’ve been close a few times of winning the league and then obviously the Champions League. It’s not enough. I can understand Eriksen, you can understand Eriksen’s frustrations and wanting to leave and saying ‘I want to go somewhere and potentially win something’, not be a maybe
2020 03 21 Retrieve
[Ferdinand has Liverpool star above Wan-Bissaka in England battle] Trent Alexander, I saw him against Atletico Madrid at Anfield. If any kid right-back wants to watch a player in today’s modern game play right-back, get that 45-minute clip. The way he controlled the game from right-back, the last person I’ve seen do something like that is maybe Cafu. He played every pass in the book; outside of the boot, cross-field fade, sprayed it far and wide across the pitch, whipped it behind the defence. He done everything. Trent is an absolute mad footballer, I don’t care what anyone says, he plays for Liverpool and I don’t care, the kid can play.
As good a passer about, he’s up there, you talk about the [Kevin] De Bruynes of this world, I’m not going too far or overcooking it to say that Trent Alexander is in around them boys when talking about top passers, and he’s at right-back by the way. Unheard of. You weren’t seeing Gary Neville pass the ball like that, as good as Neville was he couldn’t pass the ball like Trent Alexander
[He added after being quizzed on whether he would take Alexander-Arnold or Wan-Bissaka] I don’t know. Right now it has to be Trent, because he’s experienced, he’s played in two Champions League finals, won one, was in a team that should’ve won the league and has been consistent.
2020 03 22 Retrieve
[Ferdinand admits he would pick prime Vidic over Van Dijk] Prime Van Dijk or prime Vidic? [It’s a] good question. I’ve got to go with Vidic because he was my partner, man. He was my partner. He covered my back and I covered his. That was it
I love Van Dijk, don’t get me wrong. I love him. [I think he’s the] best defender in the world now, definitely. I’d love to have seen him play in our time, seen what he was about. That would have been interesting. [He’s a] top player.
2020 03 24 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand claims Arjen Robben ‘didn’t like the smell’ at Manchester United training ground so joined Chelsea instead] I’d have to go for Giggys you know. Robben was nasty though, oooh Robben. You knew he was going to come back in on his left but the left-back couldn’t deal with it. He’d be saying, ‘I’m going to come in on my left, you’re not gonna stop me’. And they didn’t. What a player. Robben was great. We should have signed him at Man United
I think he came to the training ground. He walked around and didn’t like the smell and walked off and went Chelsea. I couldn’t believe it man. He would have been great for us.
But Giggsy was an unbelievable footballer. Left wing, into centre midfielder by the end of his career. Great footballer. Great, great footballer
2020 03 24b Retrieve
[The former centre-back is in awe of how confident Mason Greenwood is with either foot and how easily he’s adjusted to life in the first team] Have you seen what this kid is doing?! Left and right foot. If you said to him take a free-kick please. In his own mind he is saying to himself ‘do they want it on my right or my left foot?’ That is the kind of conversations he is having in his head.
Left foot, right foot, bang. The ball is hitting the back of the net, that is how he moves. I have seen this kid since he was very young and I have heard people talking about him at the club. Every level he has gone into, that is the key, every level he has played he has looked unfazed and stepped up to it easily. Like with pure, pure ease. He has just done it. He just looks around ‘Old Trafford? This is me, I’m meant to be here.’ That is the vibe I get from him. You can’t put a price on that, that cold-hearted calm confidence is just mad
2020 03 25 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand says Ighalo deserves permanent contract at Man Utd after proving everybody wrong] Wow, eight games, three starts in that, four goals and one assist. Ighalo, do you sign him for Manchester United now? All the people that out there that were saying: ‘What are we doing signing Ighalo? What’s going on? What’s Ole thinking?’ – I was one of them, I have to admit it.
Ighalo’s been in China, the league’s nowhere near what the Premier League is so how is he going get up to speed? Is he going to be ready straight away? We need somebody to come and make an impact immediately. Coming from China, impossible
Well, he’s proved us all wrong. This guy has proved us all wrong. It’s refreshing to see someone who is like a supporter, who is thankful. He looks like he’s absolutely delighted to be at Manchester United. He’s been a Manchester United supporter his whole life. He looks like he’s saying ‘thank you’ every day he walks up to Ole for giving him this opportunity.
He’s not someone who says ‘Manchester United are lucky to have me here’ – that’s the vibe I’ve got for a little while and that’s not just United, that’s other clubs as well. This boy looks like he’s happy to be here: ‘Whatever you tell me to do I’m going to go out there and do it to the best of my ability. I’m going to give you 100 per cent every day in training and in matches because I love this club and I want to do right by this club’. I love it.
It’s shocked me to see what he’s done. Listen, we’re not talking like he’s turned Man United into world-beaters but United needed something and he’s brought it in and given it and that’s all you can ask for. And I think he’s warranted the opportunity to come in as a full-time player and what he’s given Manchester United which they didn’t have is someone they can pass the ball into and can hold it up, he’s got a physical presence, he can hold off a defender or two and lay the ball in for someone else to score.
[Ferdinand went on to draw comparisons between Ighalo and Henrik Larsson] [Marcus] Rashford, when he’s fit, will appreciate playing with someone like this. He can have the impact on the Rashfords, on the Martials, on Daniel James etc. That someone like Larsson, who can have [an influence] on the likes of [Wayne] Rooney and [Louis] Saha when he was there. That little bit of experience. He’s got something that’s different to all the other guys in the team and you need that sometimes
2020 03 29 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand says Roy Keane killed Juan Sebastian Veron’s Manchester United career] Veron, Sebastian Veron, scored one of the best goals I’ve ever seen in training. The little rabona thing, bang from the halfway line, the whole training session shut down, stopped: ‘Did you just see that, what Juan Sebastian’s just done there?’. He was an unbelievable player, great passer. The only thing I think that killed him was Roy Keane was probably a bit more of a dominant personality and was picking the ball up in his positions. You have to remember Veron came from Lazio, Parma where he was the main man, the whole game went through him. He came to United, that’s what Roy Keane did. Keane came and got it off the defenders, passed it through to the midfielders and attackers, and got in positions and was very vocal, like ‘Yeah, give me the ball! Give me the ball!’ And out of respect probably Seba just said, ‘I’ll let Roy keep doing that’. But Seba was an amazing talent. I honestly think without Roy Keane there he might have flourished in a Man United shirt. I think Roy Keane was his problem. And it wasn’t Roy Keane’s fault, it’s just that his personality was bigger and more overpowering
2020 03 30 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand has a strong message for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal amid Luka Jovic transfer links] He is someone who could add something to Arsenal but I don’t think Arsenal need a player in that position.
Arsenal need centre-halves. They need centre-halves who can defend and play as well. I played against Arsenal teams with the likes of Sol Campbell and Tony Adams. I don’t see that now. They have many good footballers but you need a blend.
Why are they going for Jovic when they need to be looking at centre-halves? Arsenal is a fantastic club, what a club. But they need to get it right in other areas of the pitch
2020 04 27 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand is doing his best to get the season voided] I just think the Premier League should just be voided. Just void it. I know there are going to be a lot of Liverpool fans going ‘Oh Rio, it’s just because you support Manchester United and it’s Liverpool’. It’s not that, it’s just that I don’t see a way that it can be done, where health isn’t compromised. Simple as that. All this behind closed doors business – you’re still going to have players there, are the players not part of society?
There are players who are going to go down with the illness who might not have recovered, or catch it from someone then it spreads to other players. It won’t be fair, it’s not a level playing field. I just don’t feel it’s right
There are going to be people in the stadium, security, it puts everyone at risk. All this ‘oh we’re going to win this’ or ‘so-and-so might go down’ […] you’ve got to put those type of things to one side
This is about life and death situations, about society in the wider grand scheme of things. Football it ain’t that serious in that sense
Listen, we all love it but it ain’t life or death, when it comes to matters like this, you’ve got to put people’s heath before anything
Start the season, clean slate, once all this health situation has been sorted out we can start the new season but I don’t see it happening in that time
Now if we wake up one morning in the next month and it’s all gone and the country can get back to normal immediately then we can have a conversation about that but I don’t see that happening, not from what we’re being told, and the experiences that other countries who are two or three weeks in front of us, we’re not going to be in a place to do that
PSG vs Dortmund the other day, behind closed doors but outside there were thousands of fans out there. Imagine Liverpool win the league, which they would, do you think those fans after 30 years of hurt will sit at home and say, ‘Well done, guys’?
2020 04 28 Retrieve
[Rio Ferdinand has advised Manchester United to move for Saul Niguez, Thomas Partey and Wilfred Ndidi in the summer transfer window] I’d maybe go get Partey from Atletico Madrid or Ndidi from Leicester. I like Saul Niguez. He’s a very, very good player in midfield. And then a centre-back, they still need a centre-back. Whether you go for a young one like a Ben Godfrey or someone like [Kalidou] Koulibaly. I don’t know, it’s difficult