Rio Ferdinand's memorable moments - Leading United in Moscow

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With less than a week to go until Rio Ferdinand's testimonial, the Manchester United centre-back resumes his countdown of his most memorable moments for GiveMeSport.

We've looked back at the day he signed for United, his first Premier League title and his last-minute winner against Liverpool back in 2006.

And we've reached the big one now - captaining United to Champions League success against Chelsea in Moscow.

Sir Alex Ferguson bestowed the honour on Ferdinand as stand-in skipper, with club captain Gary Neville out injured and Ryan Giggs on the bench.

The pinnacle of club competition, just playing in the Champions League final can be the apex of many players' careers - to lead your side to victory and lift the trophy in front of your own supporters takes it to another level.

Up against Premier League rivals Chelsea, who they'd already topped by two points to take the Premier League title earlier that month, Manchester United boasted one of the finest teams of the Ferguson era.

Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic at the heart of the defence, Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo up front with Paul Scholes, Owen Hargreaves and Michael Carrick holding the middle.

And it was Ronaldo who opened the scoring in conditions all too familiar to those hailing from Manchester. The Portuguese international rose highest to thump his side ahead mid-way through the first-half.

Frank Lampard levelled the scores on the stroke of half-time, before the two Premier League giants cancelled each other out for a further 75 minutes of play.

In the penalty shoot-out Chelsea blinked first - John Terry squandered the chance to win the trophy before Edwin van der Sar saved from Nicolas Anelka to clinch a second Champions League title in nine years.

The save sparked jubilant scenes, with Ferguson and his players charging down the rain-soaked pitch to celebrate with the giant Dutch keeper.

And what's more the timing of the triumph couldn't have been more poignant - 50 years on from the Munich air tragedy of February 1958.

After the match, Sir Bobby Charlton - a survivor of the Munich air crash - joined Ferdinand and the rest of the United players as they collected their medals.

As Ferdinand said: "If you could bottle that experience, you would be a billionaire."

The celebrations would have continued long into the Moscow night as United players and staff capped a memorable campaign with a historic double - the Champions League trophy would look good alongside that hard-won Premier League title in the Old Trafford cabinet.

And looking back, the Red Devils were worthy winners. They came through the group stage without defeat, conceding just four while scoring 13.

That miserly defence, led by Ferdinand and Vidic, proceeded to dominate the competition in the knock-out rounds - only Lyon forward Karim Benzema managed to breach the United back-line on route to the final.

Barcelona and Roma remained scoreless across four matches with the watertight Old Trafford rearguard.

A fitting end then, to one of the club's finest seasons since the famous 1999 treble win, and one of the most memorable moments in a career littered with title triumphs for Rio Ferdinand.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of Rio's most memorable Manchester United moments - we'll be counting down alongside his official Facebook page as we build towards his testimonial on August 9th. 

Tickets for Rio's testimonial can be purchased from

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Rio Ferdinand
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United

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