Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he was informed his Manchester United career was over in the immediate aftermath of the club’s final Premier League game of last season against Southampton.
Ferdinand left Old Trafford in the summer transfer window after 12 glorious years as a Manchester United player, during which time he was able to earn iconic status with six league titles and a Champions League triumph to his name.
The centre-back’s departure owed to the expiration of his contract, although he had been offered an indication by then interim manager Ryan Giggs that he would be afforded the opportunity to extend his stay with the club.
It did, then, arrive as something of a shock when he was informed of Manchester United’s decision by vice chairman Ed Woodward, who broke the news in the dressing room after a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s on the last day of the season.
“I was taken aback. I was sitting there in a blur,” Ferdinand told The Sun. “It was the last game of the season and I was still in match mode. It was almost in one ear and out the other and after a little while it hit me what he was saying.
“The other boys hadn’t heard, so I leaned over and told Vida (defender Nemanja Vidic), ‘That’s my last game for United. He just told me. That’s it’. I didn’t tell anyone else but I got the match ball and asked the kit man if he could get it signed by all the lads.”
The 35-year-old could have fairly expected far better from the club he had served so well, which is perhaps what later led to an apology of sorts being offered for the way in which the situation had been handled.
“It saddened me the way it happened. The way it was dealt with,” he added.
“The club got in touch later and they would accept that it could have been done better.”
Ferdinand has, of course, since signed for Queens Park Rangers to reunite with Harry Redknapp, the manager who gave him a first senior break, and will visit Manchester United this weekend for the first time since his departure.
He has already outlined a clean sheet and three points for his new club as his aim for the trip to Old Trafford, and that would be a rather good achievement with Manchester United set to give a debut to Radamel Falcao.