Rio Ferdinand has been reflecting back on his time at Manchester United, stating that it would have been near impossible for him to leave the club, despite interest from Barcelona.
The Englishman spent twelve years with the Red Devils, winning fourteen major honours and becoming a club legend in the process. He arrived in Manchester back in 2002, when United splashed out on a then world record transfer fee for his services (£30m).
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It could have been all so different though. Speaking to BT Sport, Ferdinand revealed that Barcelona were interested in him back in 2008:
“It came close, there were discussions with my agent. Barcelona had touched base. I’d spoken to Rijkaard. Not about going there, but he kind of made his feelings known. It was after the game in Barcelona we drew 0-0.”– Barcelona made contact with Ferdinand
United, of course, knocked the Spanish giants out of the Champions League that season, going on to lift the eventual trophy in Moscow. This was during a time when the Red Devils were dominating English football, a key reason why Ferdinand remained with the club:
“I always said I wanted to play abroad but the only thing that would stop me was if I was winning and successful on home shores. I was lucky I found a great club at Manchester United it would’ve been almost impossible for me to leave.”– Ferdinand was settled at United
Such interest in the centre-back will not come as a surprise to fans, as the Englishman was widely recognised as one of the top ball-playing defenders across Europe. He was an integral part of United’s success during the Sir Alex Ferguson era, helping deliver six league titles over his twelve years with the club.
Ferdinand has always been a consistent figure at the back, with his partnership alongside Nemanja Vidic being regarded as one of the greatest in PL history.
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