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Rio Ferdinand
England

  • Full name Rio Ferdinand
  • Birth date November 7, 1978
  • Birth place Peckham, London
  • Current age 35 years 328 days
  • Height 6 ft 2 in
Rio Ferdinand
Profile

Ferdinand has overcome numerous off-field problems to earn his status as one of the most composed central defenders in the game. The London-born player endured a torrid period including a drugs ban, a contract dispute and injury. But the Manchester United and England defender is still viewed as one of the best around.

The former West Ham United and Leeds United player joined United for around £30 million, a British transfer record for a defender, in July 2002 and has won almost everything there is to win in the club game: the Premier League, Champions League and League Cup, although he missed out on United's FA Cup win in 2004 due to a suspension for missing a routine drugs test.

At international level Ferdinand has established himself as first-choice centre back under successive England managers but it came a long time after making his debut at the age of 19 years and 8 days as a substitute in a friendly against Cameroon on November 15, 1997, making him the youngest defender to play for England at the time.

A lack of concentration curtailed his fledgling England career but, since maturing, the Peckham-born player played at the 2002 and 2006 World Cup tournaments, although missed out on the 2010 World Cup through injury.

Ferdinand was left out of Roy Hodgson's England squad for the Euro 2012 finals, with tensions between John Terry and Rio's brother Anton thought to have played their part in his omission. Hodgson denied the claims.

Strengths: An excellent reader of the game, he has great positional sense and shows composure on the ball.

Weaknesses: His languid style can sometimes get him into trouble and he still suffers from the occasional lapse of concentration.

Career high: Lifting the Champions League trophy after he captained Manchester United to victory over Chelsea in the 2008 final in Moscow.

Career low: Missing a routine drugs test and missing half a Premier League season and Euro 2004 due to an eight month ban.

Style: Calm, composed, a player who uses his good positional sense to make interceptions.

Quotes: "I'm going to call you Pelé, son, I like the way you play." Youth coach Dave Goodwin spots an 11-year-old Ferdinand at the district trials.

Trivia: Rio comes from footballing stock, brother Anton and cousin Les have both played for England at various levels, but off the pitch he runs a music record label, White Chalk Music, and had a prank-based TV series called Rio's World Cup Wind-Ups.

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