Rio Ferdinand's memorable moments - Signing for Manchester United

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Rio Ferdinand is set to celebrate 10 hugely successful years at Manchester United with his Old Trafford testimonial on August 9 - and he's counting down to the landmark by reliving his top ten moments as a United player.

GiveMeSport will bring you one of these each day in the lead-up to the match against Sevilla, starting today with the first time he put on a Manchester United shirt - the day he signed for United.

A then-23-year-old Rio Ferdinand put pen to paper on a five-year deal on July 22nd 2002 as he became the world's most expensive defender for the second time in his career.

The elegant centre-back was one of the most highly-rated young players in the Premier League by his early 20s, and was hailed as a 'potentially great player' by none other than Sir Alex Ferguson.

Having signed for Leeds United from West Ham in a record-breaking £18.5m move in 2000, Ferdinand then saw French international Lilian Thuram steal his crown as costliest defender following his £22.5m switch from Parma to Juventus.

But the £30m agreement between United and Leeds in the summer of 2002 smashed that particular record, and made Ferdinand's Britain's most expensive player - a mark that wasn't broken until Andriy Shevchenko's arrival in 2006.

At the time it was the sixth most expensive of all-time - Ferdinand only behind the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Gianluigi Buffon among others at that point in football history.

After starring at World Cup for England in Japan and South Korea, he was reunited with his old international teammates Gary Neville, David Beckham and Paul Scholes at Old Trafford, forming a strong English nucleus under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferdinand's trip over the Pennines was Ferguson's big purchase that summer, following their third-place Premier League finish.

After dropping behind Liverpool and champions Arsenal in the 2001/02 season, United stormed back to win the Premier League title in Ferdinand's first season at the club.

It was 'an easy decision' to join Manchester United said Ferdinand on his first day as a United player.

10 years later, and looking back Ferdinand admits he was 'living the dream' on that July day in Manchester. 

At that stage, his whole United career stretched out in front of him - the Premier League titles, Champions League trophy, glorious wins in Moscow, Rome, and Milan, continental and global domination.

Stay tuned for the next installment 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.

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Manchester United
Rio Ferdinand

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