Testimonial August 9th 2013 v Sevilla
Rio Ferdinand's astute reading of the game and electric pace has made him one of United's most influential central defenders.
Discovered by Frank Lampard, Ferdinand was a product of West Ham's youth programnme. Having established himself as a first team regular he attracted United's attention but their bid was turned down by the 'Hammers' in the summer of 1997.
In November 2000 Ferdinand moved to Leeds United, who paid £18m. for his services. After a string of outstanding performances at the 2002 World Cup, United finally got their man. Leeds accepted a bid of £30m. and Ferdinand moved to Old Trafford. In his first season at the club he helped United claim the Premier League title.
In September 2003 he missed a routine drugs test and was banned for eight months, eventually returning in September 2004. He remained an almost permanent fixture in United's defence over the next ten years until allowed to leave the club in the summer of 2014. He had one season at Queens Park Rangers before announcing his retirement.
Ferdinand won six Premier League title medals whilst at the club, plus winners medals from two Champions' League Finals, an FA Cup, two League Cup and a FIFA World Club Championship.
He also won 81 caps for England and was the youngest ever defender to be selected for the country when he made his international début in November 1997 just eight days after his nineteenth birtday.