Liverpool rivalry 'runs deep' says Rio Ferdinand
Manchester United host their great rivals this Sunday
Friday 11 January 2013
Rio Ferdinand has joined Paul Scholes in stating Liverpool are the opponents that fire Manchester United up the most each season.
Although Manchester City's emergence as a major threat to United's own trophy hopes has given derby day added significance, spending so long scrapping for supremacy with Liverpool means that rivalry has proved impossible to break.
"I would say it is the fixture we look forward to first," Ferdinand said. "The rivalry runs deep.
"Liverpool have not been up their fighting for the championship but the fans and the players are well versed in what this means to us as a club."
Although United and Liverpool have rarely finished first and second in the league, they are by far England's most successful clubs, with 37 titles and eight European Cups between them.
The number of great players that have represented either team is the stuff of legend, as is the enmity that comes from two proud cities who formed such a central part of England's Industrial Revolution.
"It is special," Ferdinand added. "You look back over the years and see what has gone on before I came to the club and whilst I have been here there have been loads of great moments.
"You just want to add your name and be a part of a team that joins that long list of events that have gone on.
"I always enjoy playing against Liverpool, either at Anfield or Old Trafford. Hopefully this is another good, exciting and winning occasion for us."
For once though, Ferdinand cannot be sure of his place.
The 34-year-old has made it clear he is fit and available, but the same can also be said of his long-time partner Nemanja Vidic, in addition to Jonny Evans - who has made more appearances than any other central defender this season - and Chris Smalling.
"When you are at a place like this you always need competition for places," Ferdinand said. "If there was no competition for places we wouldn't be as successful as we are.
"We have to make it difficult for the manager to pick a first XI and then we go from there. You just hope you are in the team that plays."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United can learn lessons from the transfer template of rivals Manchester City
Pavement The Forum, London
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Bayern Munich 'training camp' to supply refugees with food, footballs and German lessons
David De Gea, Peter Odemwingie and the 18 weirdest transfer deadline day stories
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 4 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 5 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up