Rio Ferdinand proud of decade with Manchester United

 

Rio Ferdinand is proud to be closing in on a 10-year association with Manchester United.

A club record £29.1million signing from Leeds, the 33-year-old will complete a decade with the Red Devils in July.

He aims to mark the event by celebrating a sixth Premier League title and will be part of a United squad looking to defend their eight-point lead at the summit by claiming a customary win at Wigan tonight.

It may come as a surprise to some that the Londoner could end up being bracketed with Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, whose local connections forge a more obvious bond with the Red Devils.

Having already been at West Ham and Leeds, a decade ago, Old Trafford seemed like just another stepping stone for the most stylish England defender of his generation.

Ferdinand insists that was never his intention.

"My association with the club will be there forever," he said.

"Moving on was never in my mind. That first press conference, when I walked through the doors of the club, seeing the manager, seeing the pictures of all the old players, I grasped it straight away.

"I wanted to be part of the history of this club and to do that I have to stay here for a good amount of time.

"I achieved that and hopefully I have a few more chapters. But when I do eventually hang my boots up, I have great memories to take away.

"The manager said the other day that not many players play for one club for 10 years any more. It doesn't happen.

"To do it at a club like Manchester United that are fighting for league titles and different trophies every year, is good."

And Ferdinand cannot imagine that situation changing, especially now his time in the game is inching towards its conclusion.

"There are not many players who leave this club doing exactly what they want to do," he said.

"It wouldn't be good finishing your career with a loss, or by not winning something.

"The losses now do my head in. To think I wouldn't be able to rectify it the season after because I had retired or left would rankle.

"I am not thinking about retirement. I am trying to play as long as I can. I have another year after this and I want to do another 10.

"But whenever it is, I would want to go out on a high note."

PA

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