In Rio Ferdinand’s recent autobiography, he claimed the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson hit Robin van Persie harder than any of the other players.

The Dutchman has today confirmed what Rio said and talked of his admiration of our former manager.

Rio is a great guy. He talks a lot but there is some truth in that. My decision to come to Manchester was partly because of the presence of Ferguson, or excuse me, Sir Alex. And he told me he’d stay for another three years. I enjoyed his approach. We were once 18 points clear of City but we lost at home 2-1. We were still 15 points ahead but he was furious. Then I realised: he’s a winner.