Senior service suits Ferdinand
Published 16/11/2012 | 09:49
Rio Ferdinand is relaxed about his status as one of Manchester United's elder statesmen.
Whereas manager Sir Alex Ferguson used to concentrate on the remaining members of the 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. Were it not for the feats of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, Ferdinand's medal collection would be among the most glittering the game has ever seen.
Now that experience is not only being used on the field, it is also coming in handy off it as Ferdinand helps mastermind another championship tilt. "It is inevitable when you get to a certain stage in your career, you get looked upon as one of the senior players," Ferdinand, 34, 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.
"If you are one of the senior players, you have to use that responsibility the best way you can, by enhancing the performance of others around you."
United head to Norwich on Saturday looking to consolidate their place at the top of the Premier League. For Ferdinand, another Premier League title would represent number six, greater than a 50% strike-rate for his time at Old Trafford.
And it is that, not the huge amounts of cash Ferdinand has accrued during his time in the game, that remains of greatest interest to the former West Ham man.
"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."