Rio Ferdinand Chief FiwagboolaManchester United have been without club captain, Gary Neville, throughout the 2007-2008 season. This didn’t stop United from going on to win the League title and European Cup double, with Wes Brown deservedly being offered an improved contract after great displayers in our defence.

Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand have shared the captaincy responsibilities this season, with Rio getting one hand on lifting the European Cup after playing as our captain in Moscow.

With Gary Neville’s United career put under a shadow because of his reoccurring injuries and Giggsy set to play in fewer games due to his age and declining form, Ferdinand is likely to start next season as our captain. He is also the favourite to take on the England captaincy under new manager Fabio Capello.

He has come along way since the contract talk deadlock which ensued in 2005, after returning from his 8 month ban for a drugs ban, in terms of his performances, attitude and relationship with the fans. The move to make him permanent captain will be welcomed by most reds.

So, step up Chief Fiwaboogla.

Ferdinand is currently in Lagos, Nigeria, promoting education through football and is planning on building an academy. King Akiolu conducted a ceremony today, making Rio a Chief, believing that our defender can inspire the youth in his country. Akiolu showed up in a United shirt, with Rio’s name and number on the back, as well as a United scarf.

Rio has been given the name Chief Fiwagboola, meaning ‘character maketh wealth’.

“I’m a little embarrassed to be named a Chief, I’m not sure I’m worthy,” said Ferdinand. “It’s something to tell the lads. I’m sure they’ll be very happy to call me Chief.”