“It was my decision to come away from it and choose football” - Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand on how he was offered ballet career

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“It was my decision to come away from it and choose football” - Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand on how he was offered ballet career

Legendary Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he took ballet growing up and was good at it. His time in ballet likely played a part in the Englishman being so good on his feet as a player.

The defender had a fabulous career at the highest level, winning six Premier League titles and one UEFA Champions League, with the Red Devils. His ability to play the ball out from the back and progress play before it was popularised made him a joy to watch.

In an interview with the Guardian, the 81-cap England international talked about his time doing ballet:

"I was given a scholarship to the Central School of Ballet, which was a big thing for a boy from a council estate in south London.
"I had an amazing time, but it got to the point where I’d have to go every single day to be able to audition for bigger productions. It was my decision to come away from it and choose football.”

Rio Ferdinand enjoyed a stint with Queens Park Rangers, returning to his native London one more time before hanging up his boots.The Manchester United legend now spends his time as a pundit.


Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand and his foray into boxing

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand revealed that he tried his hand in boxing to try and get his mind off challenging personal circumstances. The six-time Premier League winner felt that the best way to get his mind out of trouble was to put in gloves and get into the ring and spar.

Sport often has therapeutic properties, especially combat sports. The Englishman would have felt the rush of adrenaline coming in handy during the trying period he went through and would've felt relief in the ring.

In an interview, the Premier League defender-turned-pundit admitted that he took up boxing and trained compulsively:

"I took up boxing for my mental health. I needed to find something to take my mind off a personal situation that was happening at the time. People said I was mad. I was training obsessively five or six times a week, sparring with Olympic fighters. "

The circumstances that led to Rio Ferdinand taking up the gloves was the death of his wife. The Manchester United legend reportedly showed promise in the sport and even applied for a boxing license but was denied by the British boxing board of control.

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