With Rio Ferdinand’s future extremely uncertain after the final game of Manchester United’s season this summer, the legendary England and United defender is pretty relaxed about things.
Many players Ferdinand’s age, 35, have already thought heavily about the next step by this point but Rio only has one thought on his mind: keep playing.
Ferdinand’s contract expires at the end of this season at United and the stalwart, who joined the club in 2002 for $50 million which was then a world record fee for a defender, wants to carry on playing for as long as possible. Bravo.
In the past Ferdinand has been linked with countless Major League Soccer franchises as the class and skill of the former West Ham and Leeds United defender is undoubted. Can the ball-playing center back keep himself healthy enough to contribute wherever he ends up?
Recent history would suggest he has still got some gas left in the tank after playing 56 games over the past two seasons for United.
While you try and figure out if any MLS squads would be daft or clever to pick Ferdinand up this summer, our friends at Soccerly take a look at his latest comments.
Ferdinand’s current contract with United expires at the end of the campaign and there has been no suggestion as yet that he will be offered a new deal after spending much of the season out of favor with boss David Moyes, who was sacked last month. The 35-year-old did not make the match-day squad for United’s final home game against Hull under interim manager Ryan Giggs, who is set to be replaced by Holland coach Louis van Gaal after the World Cup.
But Ferdinand, who joined United from Leeds in July 2002 for £30 million ($50 million, 36 million euros), feels he still has plenty to offer, regardless of whether his future lies at Old Trafford. “I am fit, I am healthy and I want to continue playing,” said Ferdinand, who will be part of BBC’s World Cup coverage team in Brazil.
“I have spoken to a lot of mates of mine in the game and they all say the same thing — keep playing for as long as you can. The club at the moment is in a position where they can’t really make any decisions about anything. For me to be saying I want to do this or that is irrelevant, because we have got to see who becomes the new manager and boxes will be ticked from there. I just want the best solution for the club. Whatever it is, then I will respect it. After that I am open to offers. But I would rather wait and see what happens at United and then there will be a decision to be made.”
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) Brazil’s Gremio has won the Recopa Sudamericana, beating Argentina’s Independiente 5-4 in a penalty shootout Wednesday night.
The two-legged final ended 1-1 on aggregate, with no goals scored after 120 minutes in the second.
The winners of last year’s Copa Libertadores overcame the holders of Copa Sudamericana after goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe stopped the last penalty of the series, taken by Independiente’s striker Martin Benitez.
The Recopa is played between the champions of South America’s two most important tournaments.
Independiente played most of the match down to 10 players after defender Fernando Amorebieta was sent off after 38 minutes.
The Brazilians made most of the pressure until the end of extra time, but failed to score.
Gremio also won the Recopa in 1996.
The CONCACAF Champions League returned Tuesday with Toronto FC’s 2-0 quarterfinal first leg win in Colorado, and a trio of ties began Wednesday across Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras.
[ WATCH: Fred’s vicious free kick ]
Tauro 1-0 FC Dallas
Veteran striker Edwin Aguilar scored a big goal, and goalkeeper Oscar McFarlane did plenty of good things as the Panamanian side struck a wild first blow against its MLS visitors.
Here’s a random fact underscoring how remarkable of a failure this would be for FC Dallas: Only six of Tauro’s roster members have their own Wikipedia page.
Deportivo Saprissa 1-5 Club America
Cecilio Dominguez and Mateus Uribe each bagged a brace, and Renato Ibarra also scored as the tournament’s top team sauntered into and out of Costa Rica on Wednesday. Club America has been to seven CCL finals, and one every single one.
Motagua vs. Club Tijuana — 10 a.m. ET
Honduran hosts hope to have a leg to stand on — pun intended — once the tie heads to Mexico.
English Conference Premier side Dagenham and Redbridge has seen better days, and is getting a hand from a Premier League pal.
[ WATCH: Fred’s vicious free kick ]
West Ham United will pay a visit to Dag & Red as part of the latter’s #SaveTheDaggers campaign, and the March 21 date will cost fans between $7 and $21 to see a top flight side at 6,000-seat Victoria Road.
Dagenham and Redbridge chairman Paul Gwinn said, “It really will help save our club.”
“So please come on down to the Chigwell Construction Stadium for an additional night of football. Bring a friend, or two, or more and we can use the gate takings to help get us back on track,” reads a press release.
Dag & Red was founded in 1992 and climbed as high as League One in 2011, and plays just 2.5 miles from West Ham United’s training ground. Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle are among Dag & Red alums in the Premier League.
It’s a terrific gesture from West Ham, and is even more impressive in the United States where the growing club game is increasingly cutthroat (especially between non-synced leagues).
AS Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco absolutely roasted his charges after i Lupi tossed aside a Cenzig Under-inspired lead to fall 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Wednesday.
Di Francesco had praise for Edin Dzeko, who assisted Under’s goal, as well as goalkeeper Alisson, but was mostly enraged by his side.
[ MORE: Recap + Fred’s vicious free kick ]
Rather than construct a narrative, we’re going to point out our five favorite selections from Di Francesco’s post-match talk.
4) “The difference was that in the first half we tried to hurt them while in the second we were looking to hold on – to what? I don’t know.”
— “To what? I don’t know” is hilarious. Di Francesco’s side has posted some serious wins this season, including killing off Chelsea 3-0 at home and coming back from 2-0 to draw the Blues at Stamford Bridge. He doesn’t preach sitting back.
3) “There were far too many schoolboy errors – even by players with a wealth of international experience.”
— Schoolboy errors!
2) “I saw two completely different teams out there today. There were lots of players I should have taken off after we conceded the first goal.”
— Again, one mistake by a number of players on Facundo Ferreyra is enough for Di Francesco. He’s not just happy to be here.
1) “I can’t imagine we’d get arrogant just because we’re winning an important game. It’s not as if Roma are used to reaching the final every year.”
— When you’re willing to essentially rip an entire club’s history — Roma’s been to just two UCL quarterfinals since losing the final to Liverpool in 1984 — you’re putting your footprints in new cement.