Rio Ferdinand called Man Utd ‘dead team’ and told fan he’d never play for them

Rio Ferdinand hated the thought of playing for Manchester United when he was an up-and-coming star at West Ham.

Three years prior to his multi-million move to Old Trafford, the defender said he told a United fan that he would "never" play for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, though admitted his stance was born out of jealousy.

"Frank Lampard and I went to Magaluf one year, it was FA Cup final weekend and Manchester United were playing Newcastle," Ferdinand said speaking on William Hill’s Stripped Podcast.

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"I was in the toilet and a United fan came up to me and went 'I bet you’d love to play for us, wouldn’t you?' and I went 'never would I play for Man United ever, dead team, no chance.'

"That was because I was jealous as they just kept winning."

Ferdinand became the world's most expensive defender a year later after Leeds paid £18m to bring him to Elland Road, though it wasn't long before he was glancing enviously at the red half of Manchester again.

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"I first spoke to Sir Alex [Ferguson] during the 2002 World Cup. I played well in the tournament and I remember I was speaking to some of his players like Nicky Butt and they were saying 'you’ve got to come to Man United, it’s bigger than being with England'," Ferdinand added.

"My whole being of being a footballer was winning and up to that point I hadn’t won anything. I needed to go [to Man United], I couldn’t waste any more time. I loved it at Leeds, but I needed to go and that was it."

United broke the British transfer record to sign Ferdinand just a few days after the World Cup ended, and the rest is history. The centre back would go on to become one of the most decorated stars in the history of the club, as well as one of the greatest defenders to ever grace England's top flight.

I guess the moral of the story is, what happens in Magaluf, stays in Magaluf.


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