Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand, now of Queens Park Rangers, has revealed that he expects to retire from professional football at the end of the season.
The former England international is regarded as one of the best central defenders in the Premier League era, having initially graduated from the famed West Ham United academy. From Upton Park he joined Leeds United in November 2000 for £18million, and the Whites received a profit on this outlay when they agreed to sell him to their Manchester rivals for £29million in 2002.
At Old Trafford Ferdinand collected several pieces of silverware, including six league titles, two League Cups and, in Moscow in 2008, the UEFA Champions League. However, his time in the red shirt came to an end this summer, when he joined QPR upon the expiry of his contract. And the 35-year-old, who turns 36 next month, has now revealed this will likely be his last campaign.
“I probably think the end of this season,” Ferdinand said on The Jonathan Ross Show when asked about retirement. “I’m not fearful of retirement, I’m looking forward to it, I can see some good stuff hopefully happening ahead. You get to a time where you start understanding your body and the strains playing football (is) putting your body through, going out and training every day.”
Ferdinand has, thus far, struggled to make much of an impression at Loftus Road. Of the seven Premier League matches he has played for Harry Redknapp’s side, he has been on the winning side just once, and that was when they defeated Sunderland back in August. The defeat against Liverpool last weekend, in which he didn’t play, leaves the Londoners bottom of the current table.
Will Rio Ferdinand go down as the best central defender of the Premier League era or, if not, who do you rate higher? Let us know what you think by joining the discussion below.