/ Soccer

Ferdinand: United is best place to be

Updated: Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013 08:09 | Comments

Rio Ferdinand believes Wayne Rooney will stay at United
Rio Ferdinand believes Wayne Rooney will stay at United

Rio Ferdinand wants to finish his career at Manchester United and has backed team-mate Wayne Rooney to follow suit.

The 34-year-old Ferdinand has been at Old Trafford since 2002 and the former England captain has been rewarded with a testimonial at home to Sevilla on 9 August.

Rooney has also had a long and illustrious career with United but his future remains unclear after he was dropped from the side towards the end of last season's Barclays Premier League-winning campaign, with Alex Ferguson claiming he had handed in a transfer request for the second time in three years.

But new Red Devils boss David Moyes, who also managed Rooney as a youngster at Everton, revealed at his first press conference that the 27-year-old would not be sold and Ferdinand reckons his compatriot only has to look at former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to see that the grass is not necessarily greener away from Manchester.

Ronaldo has been in scintillating form since he sealed a record-breaking £80million move to Real Madrid in 2009, but Ferdinand feels he could have secured more honours if he had stayed in England.

"I think when someone is at your club who has been there for the length of time he [Rooney] has been there, he's more than clued up to understand the dynamics of the club," said Ferdinand.

"He's mature enough now and old enough to make his own mind up. I'm sure in time he'll have his say.

"I don't see where you go better from here. For instance, Cristiano has been ridiculous as a football player individually but has he won more trophies since leaving than what we've won? That's the way I look at it.

"I wouldn't say that he shouldn't have gone there; it was his dream to go there, so you have to respect that. But I just look at things in a plain, black and white way - I want to win trophies so why would I leave here?"

Ferdinand joined United from rivals Leeds for £30million and, after taking a couple of seasons to completely win over the supporters, has gone on to become a stalwart, captaining the club to their Champions League triumph against Chelsea and collecting six Premier League winners' medals.

Those years of success mean Ferdinand can not envisage finishing his career anywhere else in the world.

"I've had loads of offers over the years to go to other football clubs and there's been loads of speculation in the papers every other year, but I've never really wanted to go anywhere," he said.

"I came to Man United for one simple reason and that was to win trophies, so I could retire and say how many trophies I've won and look back and say I've made a success of my career.

"That's all you do and I'm sure most young players, or players in their prime, when they're asked to come to Manchester United, that should be the question they ask themselves: 'Have I got a chance to win?' Do you want to be part of that history of the club? Normally the answer is yes."

Another player among United's ranks who is highly unlikely to ever play for another club is Ryan Giggs, with the 39-year-old about to enter his 23rd season at Old Trafford.

The former Wales international has recently been appointed as a player-coach as Moyes looks to build his own backroom staff and, alongside fellow United alumni Phil Neville, Ferdinand believes the new manager has pulled of a coup.

And although the defender admits his own plans for when he hangs up his boots are unsure, he would certainly consider following the path of Giggs and Neville.

"I thought it was a masterstroke to put Giggsy on the coaching staff," Ferdinand said.

"He's got the experience, he's an icon at the football club, he's got the respect of the players and he can be a great sounding board for the manager.

"Also bringing in an ex-player like Phil Neville, who has got a great work ethic and who is just starting his coaching career. I think it's just great to have some players who are entwined in the club's history to be part of his staff, but also to have his blend and his people that are coming in to give new ideas to add to that is good, and hopefully it works out."

"I'm still not sure what I want to do yet. I'll take my coaching badges definitely and if the right opportunity came about, I'm sure I'd definitely look at it.

"But I don't really think about too far ahead yet. I just want to keep ticking off years and years and keep playing. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use