By Michael Cantillon
Rio Ferdinand has claimed that he was under-valued by Sir Alex Ferguson during his Manchester United career.
Ferdinand, 36, spent 12 years at Old Trafford and was a consistent fixture in Ferguson’s multi-title winning sides, establishing a formidable partnership with Nemanja Vidic as United won the league for three successive seasons from 2007 to 2009.
Speaking about playing under Ferguson, Ferdinand told CNBC: “Ferguson was very much on your case at all times. He was very much about personalities and working you out as a person.”
He continued: “I used to feel I was never given enough credit when I was playing under him – me and Vidic used to talk about it quite a lot.”
Ferdinand, who was signed for a then British record £30million from Leeds United in 2002, also explained that it was only after his career had finished that he had a conversation with Ferguson about this lack of praise.
He said: “It wasn’t until I retired and I spoke to him that he said to me: ‘With your personality, if I’d given you too much credit you might have got carried away’.
“All the time I was trying to get that credibility from him. He did have that for me as a player.”
Ferdinand was also asked how he felt when he was over-looked by Ferguson for the United captaincy in favour of Gary Neville.
“Yeah. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t [upset me].
“Sometimes there are situations during your career where you think: ‘Am I getting the credit I deserve?’
“But at the same time that is one of the things that maybe pushed me on year in year out, to keep improving, to sustain that level for all those years.”
Ferdinand was also quite critical of the current Manchester United team, describing them as unrecognisable from some of the great sides of the past.
He said: “It doesn’t look like anything I knew from when I was there.
“Man United supporters have to go away and re-educate themselves on how to watch Man United. Don’t go there expecting to see free-flowing, attacking, gung-ho football.
“The change is unreal in terms of personnel and the transfer policy.”