Rio Ferdinand is one of the best defenders of the Premier League era; a classy colossus who will be remembered by history as one of Manchester United’s greatest ever centre-backs.
But that doesn’t make him immune from dressing room banter, as he discovered before Michael Carrick’s testimonial at Old Trafford earlier this month.
Incredible footage of Sir Alex Ferguson’s pre-match team-talk was uploaded to YouTube on Thursday and it showed both Ferguson and Gary Neville having a cheeky dig at the retired England international.
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Ferguson told Rio that he wouldn’t be able to play in midfield during Carrick’s testimonial because on the one occasion he did deploy the former Leeds star further up the pitch, Robbie Savage dominated him.
“I played him once there and Savage ran all over the bloody top of him,” Ferguson said in front of the whole dressing room.
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“Wazza, what happened when we played centre midfielder against Wolves?” Ferdinand asked Wayne Rooney.
“The only reason why you were good was [because Paul] Ince was 39 at the time!” Fergie fired back.
The Scot then reminded everyone that he failed to win his final match in charge of United, despite the fact his team led 5-2 against West Brom at the Hawthorns.
Ferdinand was an 83rd-minute substitute but was on the pitch when Romelu Lukaku completed his hat-trick, denying Ferguson victory in the process.
“Has anybody ever scored a hat-trick against you,” Ferguson asked Rio, who replied: “No.”
Ferguson, referring to Lukaku, then said: “He did.”
Rio then remembered that Ronaldo once scored a hat-trick against him before Neville piped up with a comment that made the whole dressing room laugh: “Did you not see him at QPR?”
Savage trolls Rio on social media
Savage has now seen the footage and, needless to say, he particularly loved the part when Ferguson said he “ran all over” Ferdinand.
So, he trolled his fellow BT Sport colleague on both Instagram…
And on Twitter…
Ferdinand responds to Savage
Ferdinand was never going to take this from Savage - and he provided a brilliant response on Twitter this morning.
“Don't be calling Andy Todd again to get protection…” Rio wrote. “I’m coming for ya 👀“
For those unfamiliar with that name, Todd played alongside Savage at both Blackburn Rovers and Derby County.
But it’s no longer his job to cover for Savage - so good luck, Robbie!
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