Rio Ferdinand Announces Retirement from Football
Rio Ferdinand won six English Premier League titles and the Champions League during his 12 seasons at the heart of Manchester United's defence. He also played at three World Cups for England.
Former England captain Rio Ferdinand, at one stage the Premier League's most expensive defender, announced his retirement from football on Saturday.
The 36-year-old, whose wife Rebecca Ellison died on May 1 following a battle with breast cancer, spent last season at QPR. (Exciting Working With Louis van Gaal: Wayne Rooney)
In his prime for Manchester United Ferdinand was known as a graceful player, who guided attackers away from the danger zone, rarely making a rough challenge.
His poise on the ball and efficient distribution of it made him a prize asset. (Gutierrez Slams Newcastle United)
Capped 81 times he played at three World Cups for England, but it was at club level where he enjoyed the most success winning six English Premier League titles and the Champions League during his 12 seasons at the heart of Manchester United's defence.
Ferdinand began his career with West Ham before an 18 million pounds move to Leeds where his form was such that Alex Ferguson paid a then record fee for a defender of 30 million pounds (41 million euros) to bring him to Manchester United in 2002.
However, aside from inevitably injuries there were other lows as well such as when a missed doping test saw him banned for eight months in September 2003.
He was also involved in an unappetising row with his longtime England central defensive partner John Terry over the latter allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand's younger brother Anton.
Ferdinand joined QPR in July 2014 but well past his best he took part in just 12 games.
Ferdinand and Joey Barton were among six players released by relegated Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday.