There have been times over the past decade when Rio Ferdinand seemed destined for anything but a lengthy stay at Old Trafford. It has been a journey from a £30 million transfer in July 2002, through a controversial ban and subsequent contract re-negotiation, to genuine – well almost – respect on the terraces. After all, while the Londoner’s way has not always found favour among the faithful, he has absolutely been Manchester United’s finest defender for 10 years or more.
Time flies and Ferdinand’s run at United is drawing to a close with presumably one final campaign ahead of retirement or a more to lucrative pastures in the United States. With the winter of Rio’s career comes the commercial realities – a testimonial in Manchester this August – and a book reviewing the defender’s time as a Red.
Rio: My Decade as a Red, published by Bonnier Books in hardback on 9 August, coincides with Ferdinand’s testimonial against Sevilla at Old Trafford. The Spanish outfit faces David Moyes’ side just 48 hours ahead of the Community Shield at Wembley.
The book contains more than 200 images, telling Rio’s story from the early days at West Ham United and Leeds United, to an in-depth focus on his time at United. It covers Ferdinand’s United days season-by-season, from Rio’s first Premier League title triumph in 2003, to the Champions League success in 2007-08, climaxing with the defender’s last-gasp match-winning goal in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final home game as manager.
It has certainly been a ride. And Ranters can win a signed copy by answering this simple question in the comments section below:
Who did Rio make his United debut against in 2002?
Rio: My Decade as a Red is available online and from bookstores from August 9