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Rio Ferdinand in quotes

On beating Liverpool at Anfield (December 2007)
“Our fans come here and make themselves heard for the whole 90 minutes, and the satisfaction you get from winning the game is unbelievable. It’s one of the best places to come and win. Games like this, you don’t care who scores, who gets man of the match.”

On signing for United (October 2008)
“The first thing I remember doing when I got into the changing rooms was feeling the kit, touching the socks and realising this was a Manchester United kit. When you walk out just before a game and the crowd’s going crazy it’s an amazing feeling.”

On hating United (December 2008)
“I couldn’t stand United when I was 21 or 22 because they used to win everything. A United fan came up to me once and said “I bet you’d love to come to United”. ‘I said “I’ll never go there”. But I have to admit I was so excited when I arrived.”

On the fans (May 2009)
“The fans travel far and wide and spend a lot of money coming to watch us week in, week out and for a lot of them it’s what they live for. We’re very appreciative of their great support and it’s only right we say thank you because without them the club wouldn’t survive. And it really is a genuine thank you. We’ve had some great times with the fans this season and hopefully there’s plenty more to follow in the coming seasons.”

On that Macheda goal (June 2009)
“That was a massive, massive goal and an unbelievable moment. I was going bananas in the stands! You went through all the emotions in that game. At one point they looked like they could score more goals, then we looked like doing the same. Ronny got us back into it and then Macheda came out of nowhere to smash home the winner. The way that game finished just typified the Manchester United spirit – we never ever give up.”

On signing Michael Owen (July 2009)
“Initially I was surprised when he signed. But I was thinking like a fan. If you look at his stats, he has played a lot more games than I thought but after seeing him close up I am very confident we have signed the right type of player.”

On Ferguson’s team talk in Moscow (November 2009)
“I’ll never forget the manager’s speech in Moscow. Before the game he just plunked his chair in the middle of the dressing room and just started a random conversation totally unrelated to football. But it just settled everybody’s nerves and before we knew it his talk switched to words of pure inspiration, reminding all the players that whatever you do in life is to achieve your goals. And, of course, it worked. We won the game.”

On retiring at United (April 2010)
“I want to retire while at United,. It would be great to do what Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes have done and stick with one club for a long time. Finishing my career at United would be a dream come true and those guys are such inspirations. They are all synonymous with Manchester United and I want to achieve that as well. I would like to be remembered as a player who was at United during a successful period in the club’s history. When I first arrived, I knew this place was special and when the time comes to walk away I want to be able to do so with my head held high.”

On the Nevilles (November 2010)
“Looking back, the Nevilles, people used to laugh at them, saying they were ‘so professional’ and this and that. But they were good professionals at a young age. Look at the length of their careers now.”

On his future (February 2011)
“I’ll either be managing a club or will be doing the school run and working on my magazine and charities. If the opportunity comes along then I’ll definitely have a look at it, but I’ve got a while left yet before I have to contemplate it. Gary Neville [would be my assistant manager], he’d be perfect. He’d cross the Ts and dot the Is.”

On being a part of United’s history (May 2011)
“When I first came to United all I thought about was making sure I etched myself a little bit within the history of the club and to do that meant winning trophies. I have been fortunate enough to be part of squads that have won trophies. You just really enjoy those moments. To be part of a club with such great history and be part of a successful team within that history is the icing on the cake.”

On Suarez (February 2012)
“Bad decision making from their guy. It’s a touchy subject at the minute. Things could have been put to bed if the handshake was done. But after seeing what I did I decided not to shake his hand. If you’ve not got the respect you need to have in these situations and acknowledge that you’ve made a mistake and say sorry, well, I lost all respect for the guy after that. It could have been resolved today but after this, it’s not great. It’s disappointing. I expected more from the guy.”

On losing the title to City (July 2012)
“At first it was one of those things you couldn’t get out of your mind. For the first couple of weeks you’re waking up in the middle of the night thinking about what happened and how it could have ended differently. You don’t get over it but you put it to the back of your mind for the few weeks after that. It’s hard, though, because you’ve always got people reminding you about it, whether it’s fans of different teams or fans of United. But you use that as inspiration for the following season.”

On winning the league (May 2013)
“I dreamt of getting one when I turned up here. I remember looking at Ryan Giggs and the others when I arrived. At that stage they had five, six and seven. I just wanted one. I thought I would be happy with that. But once you get it, you want another. You continue striving to succeed, to achieve things and win trophies. To get six is unbelievable. But that is the main thing at this club, you want to be successful.”

On Fergie’s retirement (May 2013)
“There have been a couple of emotional moments. It was like a bolt out of the blue. No one was expecting it. It disappointed a lot of us but I understand the manager’s reasons. He has had a great stint and an unbelievably successful period. He instilled great qualities in the club and we must carry that on. Manchester United has a bright future. The manager has left the club in great health and we are looking forward. We have a great number of good young players who are eager to win things and be successful and work hard. That is what the manager has instilled in these players. The work ethic has to continue if we are going to be successful. I would like to be part of that.”

On response to City’s title win in 2012 (August 2013)
“It was weird. All of last season, because all of the credits were all Man City winning and that goal, you’re watching TV thinking to yourself ‘they’ve got to move on now, surely’. Things like that irritate you. When we were in the stadium we just heard a noise and it was the Sunderland fans screaming and cheering. Afterwards on the coach I was thinking about why they were even cheering, what they had to gain from that. But the manager came in after and he was speaking more to the young players, especially the younger ones that hadn’t won anything, and said ‘do not forget this day. Remember these fans and make sure that you’re coming back here at some point as champions and rub it in their face.’ It wasn’t so much what he said, but the way he said it. Everything he said, there was a meaning behind it and there was a forcefulness behind it. It was more that than the words he said that hit home and made you think about next season.”

On our rivals (August 2013)
“The rivalry with us is to do with who we’re competing against. We were battling with Arsenal for years to win the league, so they were our rivals and I hated Arsenal. Then Chelsea came along and they won the league a couple of times, then we won it back off them, and I hated them completely. And then City came along and they weren’t ever on my radar before, they were never a threat to win anything. As soon as someone comes out of the woodwork and becomes a threat to win something that you think is yours then you get personal.”

On scoring against Liverpool (August 2013)
“I signed for Manchester United and got involved in the whole rivalry and immersed myself in the club’s history. Manchester United and Liverpool is a huge rivalry. It’s our biggest rivalry, in terms of the success they had in the 80s and then United became successful, so the rivalry is huge. So to score a winner like that, last minute in the Stretford End, you explode. If you could bottle that emotion, you’d be a very rich man. On that day, when you play Liverpool, particularly when you go to Anfield as a Manchester United player, their fans are screaming, they have veins hanging out of their necks. You just think ‘please let us win’, so you can walk off the pitch and look at these guys in their eyes and walk off the pitch proud with your chest out, and I’ve been lucky enough to do that a good few times.”

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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11 Comments

  1. Kris Okechukwu says:

    That 2007 anfield victory was one of the best game Anderson played for us. Remembered him man handling Gerard in that midfield.

  2. Dela says:

    Some great quotes up there. It’s a sad day for United to see another long-term servant being shipped out. I guess this is just how it goes, and at 35 it really is time, would have been nice if he was given the chance to say Goodbye like Vida was though.

    In other news…. Brendan Rodgers LMA manager of the year… seriously??? So Pelligrini goes to Man City, wins the league cup and the title in his first season, with a squad that played ~15 games more than Rodgers’ Liverpool and Rodgers still gets it???? Can somebody explain that to me like I’m 5???

    Same with Tony Pulis… sure I credit him with making Palace much more resilient with his style (I hate his style…) and I absolutely was delighted to see them draw with Liverpool and even take away their chance of being level on points at the end of the season….. but at the same time, didn’t Gus Poyet pull off a miracle that absolutely nobody expected???

    Oh well, I guess it’s a consolation prize :-) BTW, noticed the Liverpool KOP blog was bragging about Lallana claiming that they will be beating United to him… really? I haven’t heard of United seriously linked to Lallana at all, only whispers in blogs with nothing to back it up… but if you need to pretend that you are beating us to players we SOOOOO crave, go right ahead, if it makes you feel better ;-)

  3. TopRed123 says:

    So right now or central defence consists of two injury prone, but decent CBs in Jones and Evans, as well as a squad player (imo) in Smalling. We really are going to have to buy half a team in the summer. Starting with a £27m left back. I really hope that the guys at the club no what they are doing because last time I checked, that is a fuckload of money for a left back.

    Giggs, Scholes, Vidic, Rio, Evra – All most likely gone, yet the players that were supposed to replace them have either left or are not even close to good enough.

  4. BerbaGod says:

    Thank you Rio ! Absolute class defender and his partnership with Vida was one of the greatest this club has ever seen.

  5. kevk24 says:

    Well done Rio and thank you. I am still searching for your Autobiography albeit a few years late. #Class

  6. Tommy says:

    @kevk24

    His autobioraphy was out last August, im sure you will be able to get it via amazon.

    Quality player over a long period of time, hi partnership with Vida is legendary, I think we need 2 CBs in the summer, I wouldnt trust Jones, Smalling and Evan to go a week injury free never mind a season

  7. UtdSenna says:

    Dela: He took Liverpool from 7th to 2nd in a year and were one slip away from winning the title. City are always up there, they got the best squad in the league and i actually think they underperformed at times. They should walk the league with that squad. Don’t get me wrong, Pellegrini has done a great job but even Manchini could win with a weaker squad. They spend 100m this summer and win the league by only 2 pts. But the Liverpool love in from media has been a bit too much, still think Rodgers have done a great job.

  8. Fletch™ says:

    Rio = one of our best center backs ever

    5th in all time EPL matchs.
    1 red card in 12 years playing for United.

    Paul Hayward called him the Roll Royce of defenders. That’s for me as well.

    Good luck to him in whatever he does. Top man Rio. Top man!

  9. Sparkz says:

    Waa reading an article on Rio this morning – apparently the leak in the dressing room this season was a young player?? I like everyone assumed it was probably Rio lol – now I’m thinking maybe Welbz? :(

  10. Tommy says:

    @Fletch

    I like the look of garey mate, hes in the Vidic mould, hard bastard, every time I see him he impresses, he would be someone on my shopping list if I was manager

  11. Tommy says:

    @Sparkz

    Cant see it being Welbz, he loves United too much to do anything daft which would put his United career under threat

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