Medals over money for Rio
Published 15/11/2012 | 14:33
Rio Ferdinand is more interested in medals than money as a sign of his success on the football field.
The Manchester United defender is very much a modern-day star, leading a glamorous lifestyle, whilst also using his profile to promote his digital magazine £5. Ferdinand has also done as much as anyone to make people look again at the issue of racism in football, a subject which, until just over a year ago, many felt was under control.
It is clear once his playing days are over the 34-year-old will have no trouble occupying his time, but Ferdinand knows throughout his life football will define him. And he is acutely aware only one currency matters. "People talk about money and all the stuff that goes on around football, but to me, it just comes back to winning," he said.
"It doesn't matter how much money you have, at the end of your career, what you will be most proud of are your achievements. If you have won things and continue to win things for this great club, that is something to talk about.
"I wouldn't sit down and talk about how much money I have. It would be more to do with what good times we had and some of the sorrow moments, when we lost games we should have won.
"Football is the most important thing. At Manchester United, winning is definitely at the top of everyone's agenda."
It is a message Ferdinand is now responsible for passing onto his younger team-mates. Whereas Sir Alex Ferguson used to concentrate on the remaining members of that famed 'Class of 92' when underlining the drive required to be successful over an extended period of time, he has now inserted Ferdinand's name into the list.
"It is inevitable when you get to a certain stage in your career, you get looked upon as one of the senior players," he said. "The others automatically look to you to be the people who are more vocal, not just on the pitch but in the dressing rooms and on the training pitch. That is just the way it happens."
With no international commitments to distract him any more, Ferdinand should be fresh for Saturday's trip to Norwich. It is the latest in a sequence of away games - he is almost certain to be excused next week's Champions League encounter with Galatasaray in Istanbul - which Ferdinand actually thinks bring out the best in United.
"We quite enjoy playing away from home," he said. "We have great players on the counter-attack and if we are under a bit of pressure, we know can cause a bit of trouble at the other end."