Rio Gavin Ferdinand (born 7 November 1978) is an English footballer. He plays at centre back for Manchester United in the Premier League and for the England national football team. He has amassed 81 caps for England in total, and has been a member of three FIFA World Cup squads.
Known for his composure on the ball in defensive positions, Ferdinand began his football career playing for various youth teams, finally settling at West Ham United where he progressed through the youth ranks and made his professional Premier League debut in 1996. He became a fan favourite, winning the 'Hammer of the Year award' the following season. He earned his first senior international cap in a match against Cameroon in 1997, setting a record as the youngest defender to play for England at the time. His achievements and footballing potential attracted Leeds United and he transferred to the club for a record-breaking fee of £18 million. He spent two seasons at the club, becoming the team captain in 2001.
He joined Manchester United in July 2002 for around £30 million, breaking the transfer fee record once more. He won the Premier League, his first major club honour, in a successful first season at the club. He missed a drugs test and was banned from competition for eight months, causing him to miss half a Premier League season and the Euro 2004 international competition. Upon his return, he established himself in the Manchester United first team and received plaudits for his performances, featuring in the PFA Team of the Year three times in four years. More club success followed with another Premier League win in the 2006–07 season and a Premier League and UEFA Champions League double the following year.
Ferdinand has three children, Lorenz, Tate and Tia, with his wife Rebecca Ellison. He was born into a footballing family: brother Anton Ferdinand is also a centre back for Sunderland and former England international striker Les Ferdinand is his cousin. Off the pitch he is involved with youth charities, film, music, and television including the prank series Rio's World Cup Wind-Ups.
Due to a knee injury he suffered in the summer of 2010, which ruled him out of the World Cup for England, he missed all of pre-season, the Community Shield and the first four games of the 2010–11 Premier League season. He returned to first-team football in the opening game of the Champions League group stage against Rangers on 14 September. He captained the side and played the full 90 minutes in a goalless draw.
Ferdinand started the season opening game in August 2011, the 2011 FA Community Shield, where United found themselves 2-0 down at half time to city rivals Manchester City. Ferdinand was taken off after 45 minutes along with defensive partner Nemanja Vidic and replaced by Jonny Evans and Phil Jones respectively. United went on to win the game 3-2 and Ferdinand claimed his fourth Community Shield medal of his career.
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Rio Ferdinand Dutch Footballer