After retiring in their mid-thirties, footballers can sometimes find it difficult to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives.
Some turn to punditry, some turn to management, whilst others just enjoy being out of the spotlight.
Taking up a different sport altogether certainly isn’t a well-trodden path but that’s what Rio Ferdinand is about to do.
Ferdinand is set to announce his intention to take up professional boxing at the age of 38. The former Manchester United defender is due to make a “major news announcement” on Tuesday, where he is expected to reveals plans to enter the ring.
If you follow Ferdinand on social media, he is often posting training videos of him performing various boxing drills. He was also seen ringside at Wembley in April as Anthony Joshua beat Wladimir Klitschko in their heavyweight contest.
But if Ferdinand thought he would receive the backing of his former United teammates, he’s sadly mistaken.
Gary Neville reacts
Gary Neville has reacted to the new that Ferdinand is about to take up boxing and posted a rather hilarious tweet that United fans will no doubt enjoy.
Neville wrote: “Hey @rioferdy5 when you're boxing does Vidic come in and take the punches whilst you cover round the back with me?”
Of course, Neville is referring to the United defence and is claiming Nemanja Vidic did all of the defending, while Ferdinand and Neville just picked up the pieces behind him.
But Neville wasn’t done there.
Replying to a comment from one of his followers, Neville added: "He'd take a 30% win rate?? (all comps)” referring to his failed managerial stint at Valencia.
Ferdinand on working out
While many former footballers take the opportunity to eat what they want and relax after 20-odd years of following a strict diet and regime, Ferdinand has admitted that working in the gym has given him release after his wife, Rebecca, died in 2015 after a battle with breast cancer.
"[The gym] enabled me to free my mind," Ferdinand revealed earlier this year.
"You’ve got to remember, when I played football, when I’d step onto the pitch, there was nothing I thought about but football. It was a clear space, a little release time.
"Without the gym, I don’t know where I would’ve had that release time – that time just to think about nothing, or to think about something other than what was going on in my life.
"The gym really played a part in that, and that’s why I’ve clung onto it. For me it’s a place where your mind gets to take a break for a bit.
"I’m simply happier when I’m in the gym and working out, and I think everything else flows better when I’m doing that. It invigorates me and calms me at the same time."
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