Rio Ferdinand to leave Manchester United

It has been announced this evening that Rio Ferdinand will leave the club this summer. In his twelve years at Manchester United, Rio Ferdinand has won the lot, including six Premier League titles, and that much-coveted Champions League crown, which he won in 2008.

Rio joined United in a £30 million deal back in 2002 from our bitter rivals Leeds United. He went on to make 454 appearances for the club, scoring eight goals.

In a statement, Rio said:

I have thought long and hard over the last few months about my future, and after 12 fantastic years playing for what I regard as the best club in the world, I have decided the time is right for me to move on.

Circumstances didn’t allow for me to say goodbye the way I would have liked but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my team-mates, staff, the club and the fans for an unbelievable 12 years that I’ll never forget. Winning trophies I dreamed about as a kid came true at this great club.

I am feeling fit and healthy, ready for a new challenge and looking forward to whatever the future holds for me.

Ferdinand played his final game for the club in yesterday’s draw with Southampton. He played alongside Nemanja Vidic who is also leaving the club this year as he heads to Inter Milan.

The pair have been the backbone of the Manchester United defence for such a long time, and a probably one of the best centre back partnerships that the league has ever seen.

This decision means United must be in the market for at least one new Centre Back, as well as it giving hope to the likes of Michael Keane and Tom Thorpe who have excelled in the Under 21s and on loan.

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