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Rio Ferdinand  

captain of the England national football team. He has amassed 78 caps for England in total, and has been a member of three FIFA World Cup squads.

Ferdinand signed as a schoolboy for West Ham United in 1992 while a student at Blackheath Bluecoat school and became a professional player under their youth system. He showed immense promise, and was likened to the late Bobby Moore, the former West Ham and England captain. He made his first team debut on 5 May 1996 as a substitute in 1 1 home draw against Sheffield Wednesday. Ferdinand earned his full England cap as a substitute in a friendly against Cameroon on 15 November 1997. He played for his country at the 1998 and 2002 World Cup s, and as of 21 June 2006 he has 50 caps. He has been selected for the squad for the 2006 World Cup. Rio also presented a one off TV programme Rio Ferdinand s World Cup Wind-Ups, in which he set up team mates in elaborate Jeremy Beadle sque stunts. His catchphrase on this show was you got merked.

He joined FA Premier League football club Leeds United in November 2000 for �18 million, then a British record. In August 2001, he became the captain of Leeds.

Ferdinand fulfilled his promise as a world-class defender during the 2002 World Cup, where his partnership with Sol Campbell boasted the stingiest defence during the tournament and he was immediately hailed as the finished product as a result for his confident marshalling of the English defence. On 22 July 2002, Ferdinand joined another Premier League club, Manchester United, on a five year deal to become the most expensive British footballer in history, and the world s most expensive defender. The fee included a basic element in the high twenty millions, and some conditional elements, which allowed Leeds to tell their fans that the were selling him for over thirty million. Leeds later took a single payment in place of all the contingent elements when they were desperate for cash during their financial crisis. The final book value of Ferdinand's contract in Manchester United s accounts was million. 1 This included seven figure agents fees, so Leeds received less than thirty million.

Ferdinand went on to win the Premier League championship with Manchester United in his first season. He has also collected runners up medals in the League Cup (2003) and the FA Cup (2005). England Manager Sven-G�ran Eriksson recently labelled him as lazy during the infamous fake sheikh scandal.

The Duran Duran song Rio has been used in football chants both for and against Ferdinand; in fact in 2002, fan Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran s lead singer) promised to re-record one of the football chants if the team won. (They did not.)

Rio's cousin is former English international striker Les Ferdinand, while his brother Anton is currently a first choice centre back for West Ham United. He and his brother held an informal competition on how many goals they could score during the 2005-06 season (neither being prolific goal scorers), which Rio won 3 2.

Before December 14, 2005, he had never scored a goal for United, despite Rio coming up for nearly every corner kick and attacking free kick. It was only against Wigan Athletic, where he finally scored, en-route to a 4 0 victory over their opponents. Most recently Ferdinand scored a last-minute winner against arch rivals Liverpool.

In June 2006, on the day of the England national team s opening World Cup group match against Paraguay, Ferdinand made his debut appearance as a television presenter. Hosting Rio s World Cup Wind-Ups, the England defender found himself in a Jeremy Beadle style role, playing tricks on his fellow England World Cup squad members including David Beckham and coined his phrase, You ve been merked blood



Rio Ferdinand: Ex-Man Utd player to become professional boxer ...
Rio Ferdinand is launching his boxing career with the tag "Defender to Contender."

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