Rio Ferdinand “merked” his England team-mates for an ITV programme ahead of the World Cup, getting Gary Neville in to trouble with a scouse police officer, landing Wayne Rooney in it at a charity dogs home and forcing David Beckham to jump out of his car and leg it away from what he believed to be a stalker.

Ferdinand, speaking to Channel Bee, has revealed that he’s not the only United player who likes to wind up his team-mates though.

“At United we’ve got quite a few people who are in to winding people up,” said Rio. “Wayne Rooney is obviously one of the main culprits. He’s involved in all stages of wind up material. Wes Brown and Darren Fletcher are normally the butt of his jokes. Wes usually has to check his trainers now because he puts them on because they could be sawed in half or the laces are gone. Fletcher has a nice clean image but in the changing room he’s normally involved in stuff, like people’s phones going missing. Fletcher is renowned for stuff like that.”

If you think these pranks were too immature for the more senior members of the team, then you’d be wrong, with Ryan Giggs partaking in the wind ups too.

“If you leave your car keys anywhere, Giggsy is the man, your car keys are gone,” Rio added. “Gary Neville went up for dinner, he likes his food Gaz, and put his keys down, then as he went to put his plate down on the side he realised his keys were gone and that he wouldn’t be going home for another twenty minutes at least because Giggsy won’t tell him where he’s put them. The rice krispie box. Giggsy has got a cheeky glint in his eye and can always chuck in a comment. He’s the man for cutting a young player down to size. If a young kid is getting out of hand, talking a bit too much or they’re too loud on the coach, then Giggsy will make a dry, sarcastic comment to make the player realise they’re getting above their station.”

But would Rio play a trick on Sir Alex? Not on your life!

“The boss, you just don’t go anywhere near,” Rio said with the shake of his head. “Not with proper banter anyway. You might try kicking the ball through his legs as he’s walking around the changing room, but he’ll give you a clip around the ear for doing it. You wouldn’t want to try cutting his socks or shoes up because not only would you get a clip around the ear, but a fine as well probably, and you’d be on the next bus out of Manchester!”