Rio Ferdinand has released a statement

After 18 years as a professional footballer I now feel it’s the right time for me to retire from the game that I love.

As a 12 year old boy, kicking around a football on the Friary Estate in Peckham, I never dreamt that I would play for my boyhood club West Ham, captain Leeds United, win the Champions League with Manchester United, or re-join my first manager Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers.

Winning trophies over my thirteen years at Manchester United, allowed me to achieve everything that I desired in football. From a young child to today, that was all I cared about. None of that would have been possible, without the genius of one man, Sir Alex Ferguson. His greatest accomplishment in my eyes will always be how he developed us as men, not just as footballers. He will in my opinion, always be the greatest manager in British football history.