Rio Ferdinand salutes Manchester United fans after Champions League heartbreak

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Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has paid tribute to the club’s supporters after Champions League defeat to Real Madrid last night (Tuesday).

The Red Devils were controversially dumped out of Europe’s premier club competition at the last 16 stage, with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford securing a 3-2 aggregate victory for Los Blancos in a game that turned on Luis Nani’s second-half red card.

And, after a night to reflect on proceedings, Ferdinand was still struggling to come to terms with the defeat. But, he was full of praise for the effort from the supporters on what eventually turned out to be a disappointing night.

“Morning, was a long night without any sleep... I must say though, last night our fans done us and our club proud,” he wrote on his official Facebook page.

“The best and loudest support I've heard at ANY ground throughout my entire career. Thank you!”

Ferdinand started alongside Nemanja Vidic – a rare pairing at the heart of the Manchester United defence this season – as the Premier League leaders looked to nullify the threat of the La Liga champions.

All was going well for United as a Sergio Ramos own goal put the hosts in-front on 48 minutes.

However, Cuneyt Cakir's decision to send Nani off changed the game completely on 56 minutes, and Jose Mourinho’s side took advantage ten minutes later when Luka Modric – introduced as a substitute following the red – smashed home an equaliser.

Cristiano Ronaldo then rubbed salt in the wounds with the winner three minutes later. The Portuguese winger had been quiet when the match was poised at 11v11, but would ultimately make the difference to deny Ferdinand the chance of winning a second Champions League medal this season.

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UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Rio Ferdinand

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