Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand admits he's excited ahead of his return to Manchester United this weekend and is looking forward to this weekend's Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
The 35-year-old will make his long-awaited comeback with Harry Redknapp's side on Sunday, after turning down the opportunity to say his goodbyes to the Red Devils faithful prior to the club's final pre-season friendly against Valencia in August.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward offered the veteran centre-back the chance to acknowledge supporters ahead of Louis van Gaal's first game in charge at the Theatre of Dreams following his free transfer release over the summer after the expiry of his contract.
Ferdinand enjoyed 12 hugely successful years with Manchester United after joining from Leeds United in a £29.1 million deal in 2002, winning numerous major honours both domestically and in Europe.
The former England captain departed Old Trafford in a relatively low-key manner, but will have the chance to say a final farewell this weekend after opting to prolong his playing career by signing a 12-month deal at Loftus Road.
Rio Ferdinand quotes:
"It's nice to have an opportunity to come and see everyone when I come up with QPR," he told MUTV, as quoted by the Daily Star.
"I went to the training ground over the summer to see some of the dinner ladies and the office staff that I've known for years and who helped me along the way.
"Ed Woodward offered me the chance to come down and do that [say goodbye] before the pre-season game against Valencia. But it didn't feel right for me to do that, it feels far more natural for me to come back and play, give everyone a wave and say 'thank you'."
Business as usual...
Ferdinand will be hoping to prolong Manchester United's wait for their first win of the 2014/15 season for another week at least as QPR aim to follow up their 1-0 victory over Sunderland prior to the international break with more points against Van Gaal's men.
Much is anticipated of the Dutch coach in a new era for the Red Devils after a particularly disastrous campaign under the tutelage of David Moyes last term following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
It wasn't the way that Ferdinand would've wanted to bow out - off the back of the club's worst ever finish in the Premier League - but says he knew the time was right to leave with the team heading in a new direction under Van Gaal.
"It's an old cliché, but the club is bigger than everyone else and it's so true," he explained. "There's more to it than one player and I understand that.
"I'm not selfish enough to think that everything revolves around me and that I deserve to stay at Manchester United. Everyone has their time to leave and mine was now."
Ferdinand has started all three of QPR's Premier League games so far this season alongside new centre-back partner Steven Caulker, and will be hoping to retain his place in the side for this particularly special clash against his old club this weekend.
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