EPL legend Rio Ferdinand opens up on ill-tempered episode with Robbie Savage

  • EPL great Rio Ferdinand sheds light on ill-tempered tunnel bust up with Robbie Savage.
  • Ferdinand made over 400 appearances for Manchester United and won 6 EPL trophies at Old Trafford.
Modified 19 May 2020, 15:58 IST

Robbie Savage and Rio Ferdinand look back on the ill-tempered incident.
Robbie Savage and Rio Ferdinand look back on the ill-tempered incident.

Former EPL defender Rio Ferdinand is regarded as one of the greatest central defenders in the modern era. The Englishman won 6 EPL titles, two League Cup's and one FIFA Club World Cup with Manchester United and made 455 appearances for the club.

Speaking to Robbie Savage, the EPL great looked back on his only red card in his professional career. As Manchester United took on Blackburn Rovers in 2006, Ferdinand received his marching orders for what was deemed to be a nasty challenge on Savage.

However, replays suggested that the Blackburn midfielder had made the most of the situation and got Ferdinand sent off unfairly. Speaking on BBC 5 Live, the former EPL defender revealed his frustration at being sent off and the chain of events that followed.

"You're the only blemish in my career. I couldn't believe I got sent off. After the game, you had your boot on after being stretchered off. I thought to myself 'this cheeky man has lied and is walking around in the changing room like nothing happened.' I couldn't believe it!"

Savage claimed that he made a meal of the challenge to get the EPL defender sent off. The Welshman even winked as he was being stretchered off, much to Ferdinand's displeasure.

"Rio played in midfield that day. I had a cheeky look at the physio while being stretchered off. You [Rio Ferdinand] were getting sent off. After the game, I had a boot on and you were trying to kill me!"

The pair were to meet again in the reverse fixture, as the Old Trafford tunnel witnessed the ill-tempered affair between the pair. The former EPL duo started the game and were involved in an altercation during the half-time interval.

EPL duo's ill-tempered tussle in Old Trafford tunnel

Robbie Savage got Rio Ferdinand sent off.
Robbie Savage got Rio Ferdinand sent off.

Ferdinand, who made over 400 appearances for the EPL side, shed further light on the incident.

"I got sent off at Blackburn and we played at Old Trafford after. I remember walking towards the tunnel at half time and all of a sudden I remember this big push from the back and you ran past."
"I chased you down the tunnel and jumped on you. I remember Alan Smith jumped in as well, as did the security. Those were the days!"

The pair shared a laugh as they looked back on the episode and Robbie Savage also narrated his own version of the story.

"I remember we met in the tunnel. It's half-time and you've nudged me and run off. I chased you and battered you and you needed [Wayne] Rooney to come and fill me in together"

While Savage started off as a youth player at EPL side Manchester United, he failed to make the grade at the club and subsequently joined Crewe Alexandra.

The former EPL duo remain good friends despite the events that unfolded in 2006 and Savage revealed that he was honoured to be invited for Ferdinand's wedding.

Published 19 May 2020, 15:57 IST
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