Rio Gavin Ferdinand is a professional footballer from England. He was born on the 7th of November, 1978 in Camberwell. Ferdinand played as center back and was associated with Manchester United for the major part of his career.
The Englishman began his football career with West Ham United back in 1992. He remained in the youth ranks for three years where he quickly developed his skills and gained the faith of the manager to perform at bigger levels.
In 1996, Ferdinand won the Hammer of the Year award for his top quality performances for the side. The young defender featured for the Hammers until the end of 2000 after which he moved to Leeds United for a record-breaking fee of £18 million. He spent two seasons at the club, becoming the team captain in 2001.
Rio Ferdinand made his international debut in a match against Cameroon on the 15th of November, 1997, setting a record as the youngest defender to play for England at the time. Ferdinand started as a substitute as England beat Cameroon comprehensively. He went on to score three goals for his country and was the second most capped player for England with 81 appearances.
Rise to Glory
Ferdinand was considered as a more traditional English defender for his continental style of play. Ferdinand is regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation, and as one of best ever centre backs to have played for England. He had good leadership qualities and was strong in the air and on the ground.
Rio Ferdinand spent the best years of his career at Manchester United. He became the most expensive defender back in 2002 when he joined the Red Devils. Ferdinand went on to win the Premier League title with Manchester United in his first season at the club. He collected a winner's medal in the 2006 League Cup, with runners-up medals in the 2003 League Cup and the 2005 FA Cup.
The defender scored his first goal for United after three years at Old Trafford against Wigan Athletic in 2005. In the same season, he then scored a last minute winner against Liverpool at Old Trafford, possibly his most important Manchester United goal to date.
Rio had his best moment on the 21st of May 2008 when he captained Manchester United towards a Champions League victory against Chelsea. During his tenure at United, he won six premier league titles and was named in the team of the season in as many times.
Ferdinand has been involved in a lot of controversies in his football career. He has been banned from driving on a handful number of occasions that prevented him from becoming the youngest player to play for England. A number of back and knee injuries all throughout his career did not help him to remain a constant starter in the XI.
In 2003, the defender failed to attend a drug test that saw him being suspended for a eight month period. In 2008, Ferdinand kicked a female steward in Chelsea. Later he claimed to have just bruised her foot and apologised for his behaviour.
Rio bid adieu to international cricket in 2013 to focus on his club career. On 30 May 2015, he announced his retirement from professional football.
Post retirement, Ferdinand has joined BT Sport as a Pundit for their coverage of variuos football matches across Europe.