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Football salutes Ferdinand after he retires from the game

Tributes have been pouring in for former England captain Rio Ferdinand who brought an end to his playing career on Saturday.

The 36-year-old former QPR, Manchester United, West Ham and Leeds defender called time on a career that spanned almost 20 years and current and former players have been paying their respects to an incredible career: 

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville lead the way with praise for his former United team-mate on Twitter, saying: "Congratulations to @rioferdy5 on his great career. Best I played with and best pairings I've seen with Vida/JT. Covered me very well too!"

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans, who played alongside Ferdinand on many occasions at Old Trafford,
said: "He was the modern day centre-back that everyone looked to. Training every day and playing with him, he was someone I tried to replicate in my own game. 

"I had the opportunity to play alongside Rio for a lot of years and he was someone who had the ability to make the game seem so easy.

"Anyone who's played with him would tell you that.

"He transmitted that to the rest of the team and he was a great character in the dressing room.

"More than anything he was a winner and a leader. His trophy record reflects that"

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar said: "Great guy, awesome centre half and honour to have been playing with @rioferdy5 for 6 trophy full years! #manutd

Current United keeper David de Gea added his tribute saying: "@rioferdy5 you've always helped me. I'll never forget. Keep mentoring outside the pitch. Good luck my friend!"

Former United team-mate, Michael Carrick chipped in with: "An incredible career. What a player! Quite simply the best CB I've come across. Another gear. Had the lot @rioferdy5"

And former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher added: "A great career comes to an end today with the retirement of @rioferdy5 played in U18/21's as well as the full squad together. #Top player."


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