West Ham United (England),
Bournemouth (England), West Ham United (England), Leeds United (England),
Manchester United (England)
Premiership Champions (Manchester United) 2003 League Cup Finals (Manchester United)
Rio Ferdinand (born on November 8, 1978 in Peckham, South London)
is an England international football player. His usual position
is central defence.
Ferdinand signed as schoolboy for West Ham United in 1992 and
became a professional player under youth training scheme and is
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 in 1998. He played for his country at
the 1998 and 2002 World Cup.
He joined Premier League football club Leeds United on November
2000 for £18 million, then a British record. In August 2001, he
became the captain of Leeds.
On 22 July 2002, Ferdinand joined another Premier League club,
Manchester United, on a £30 million fee with a five year deal to
become the most expensive British footballer in history.
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 didn't.)
Rio's cousin is former English international striker Les
Drug test controversy
In 2003 he failed to attend a drugs test, claiming he had
forgotten because he was preoccupied with moving house. The FA
imposed an eight month ban from January 2004 at club and
international level, meaning he would miss the rest of the
league season and some of the next along with all of Euro 2004.
Manchester United's appeals to have the ban reduced were turned
down. John Terry replaced him in the England side until his
return on 9 October 2004 in their World Cup qualifier against
The Rio Ferdinand drugs test saga has caused a huge debate over
how footballers found guilty of drug offences (failing or
missing tests) should be treated. One of Manchester United's
reasons for appealing against the ban was that a Manchester City
player had also missed a drugs test but escaped with just a
£2,000 fine. Several seasons earlier, Ipswich midfielder Adam
Tanner had been banned for just three months after failing a
drugs test. In March 1995, Chris Armstrong had become the first
Premiership footballer to fail a drugs test yet had returned to
the game within a month after attending a brief rehab programme.