On this day in 2002: Record-breaking Rio moves to Old Trafford

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Tuesday 22 July 2014

On this day in 2002: Record-breaking Rio moves to Old Trafford

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall when Manchester United signed Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand spends a day in London for the launch of his autobiography and a Q&A session with fans

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

22 July 2002 - Manchester United bring in Ferdinand from Leeds

Rio Ferdinand became the world's most expensive defender and Britain's most expensive player for the second time in his career when he joined Manchester United from Leeds United for an undisclosed fee.

The 23-year-old signed a five-year deal at Old Trafford and said that the money paid was irrelevant to him.

"The fee will not play on my mind at all," he said. "It was not an easy decision but opportunities like this don’t come round very often so I had to grab it with both hands.

"I'm hoping to improve as a player at Manchester United but I'm leaving a great club in Leeds and fully appreciate what they have done for me."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "I identified him many years ago but a transfer like this has to be difficult. Leeds are a big club and our fiercest rivals and he had four years left on his contract.

"We were hopeful because of Leeds' financial position and most importantly, Rio wanted to come here and this contributed to the deal."

Ferdinand enjoyed a long and fruitful career at Manchester United, which only ended this summer.

He played more than 300 Barclays Premier League matches for the club and helped them win six League titles, the UEFA Champions League and numerous other trophies.

Ferdinand also captained England during a 14-year international career in which he won 81 caps.

On leaving United, he said: "I joined Manchester United in the hope of winning trophies and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how successful we would be."

Ahead of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign, the former England international signed for newly promoted Queens Park Rangers on a one-year deal.

  • Rio Ferdinand went on to win six league titles in an illustrious 12-year Man Utd career

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