English Premiership

United to honour Ferdinand

2013-06-03 20:00
Rio Ferdinand (AFP)
London - Rio Ferdinand will be honoured with a testimonial match for Manchester United against Spanish side Sevilla on August 9, the English Premier League champions announced on Monday.

Ferdinand, who retired from international football earlier this year, joined United from rivals Leeds United in 2002 and last month agreed a one-year contract extension that will prolong his spell at Old Trafford into a 12th season.

The 34-year-old has made 432 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring eight goals, and his trophy haul with United includes six Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League.

"This is going to be a big night for me, as well as an emotional one," Ferdinand said in a statement.

"I cannot believe where those 10 years have gone and I am lucky to have spent them here at Manchester United. This club is unique in every way. The history and drive of the place is unbelievable, it spurs everyone to succeed.

"The fans are the best in the world, their commitment is amazing and I have appreciated their support throughout my career. I hope they enjoy the night as much as I intend to."

Outgoing United manager Alex Ferguson, whose 26-and-a-half-year spell with the club came to an end this season, said it was fitting Ferdinand would be honoured for his services to the club.

"He is one of the best central defenders this club has seen," said the Scot.

"Rio has a natural ability to read the game and I said last month that I believed that this season has been the best of his Manchester United career.

"It will be a fantastic night for him and the fans, but it also gets next season's campaign off to a great start."

Ferguson will be officially succeeded by Everton manager David Moyes on July 1.


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