Former Manchester United hero Rio Ferdinand has today announced his retirement from football, just a few days after being released by Queens Park Rangers. The England international, who has been capped by his country 81 times, brings to an end a career spanning just under two decades.
In a statement Ferdinand thanked all his managers but offered special praise for Sir Alex Ferguson, describing the Scot, who he played under for 11 of his 12 seasons at Manchester United, as a genius. The same statement, as per BT Sport, read: “After 18 years as a professional footballer, I now feel it’s the right time for me to retire from the game that I love.
The 36-year-old spent 12 years at Old Trafford where he became one of the most highly-regarded centre-backs in the club’s history. He made 455 appearances, winning six Premier League titles, one European Cup, a FIFA Club World Cup and two League Cups, before leaving in 2014 to join Queens Park Rangers – his final professional club.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to news of the former England international’s retirement:
Good luck with the retirement @rioferdy5 true legend
— kevin metcalfe (@kevjm100) May 30, 2015
Just two words sum up Rio Ferdinand absolute legend
— United 1999 (@richardozzy0) May 30, 2015
You have to give Rio credit for the career he's had..
The achievements he's had are outstanding!
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) May 30, 2015
Say what you like about Rio Ferdinand, he was an immense player in his prime. Has been very dignified in how he's handled a turbulent time.
— Karl Johnson (@Lallanimaniacs) May 30, 2015
Bloomin' loved watching Rio Ferdinand play football.
— Paul (@UtdRantcast) May 30, 2015
— Musa Okwonga (@Okwonga) May 30, 2015
Rio Ferdinand has announced his retirement, what a player he was, One of the best defenders of the premier league era.
— di Márdi (@TerrydiMardi) May 30, 2015
I thought Rio Ferdinand retired from football years ago. Over rated with an over the top EGO
— Dr Davie Adam EngD (@DrDavieAdam) May 30, 2015
— theunitedpages (@theunitedpages) May 30, 2015
— Billy Meredith (@UrmstonLordMUFC) May 30, 2015
Rio Ferdinand won:
1 Champions League
6 Premier Leagues
1 FA cup
3 League Cups #MUFCLegend
— Straight Outta 6th! (@RedSammy7) May 30, 2015
Fact: Rio Ferdinand has won more premier League titles than Chelsea football club #Legend
— Ùnited Galàctico (@Richforson_mufc) May 30, 2015
Rio Ferdinand retires. Classy defender, one of the best. Shame he went out after getting relegated.
— Tolley (@Tolley85) May 30, 2015
Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. I've never loved a defensive duo more than this two.
— Mo (@MShisht) May 30, 2015
Rio Ferdinand announces his retirement from football….thought he did that when he left #mufc!!
— GL3NN (@GlennCarroll1) May 30, 2015