The six players with the most combined votes will enter the Premier League Hall of Fame.
Ferdinand broke the mould of the no-nonsense English centre-back.
Composed and stylish, he made his Premier League debut for West Ham United aged 17.
After Leeds United made him the world’s most expensive defender, Manchester United broke the British transfer record two seasons later and immediately reaped rewards as they regained the Premier League title in 2002/03.
That was the first of Ferdinand's six titles in his 12 seasons at Old Trafford. His 504 Premier League appearances are second among central defenders.
“Rio has been the best defender in the country, if not Europe, for a couple of years. His maturity and leadership have been key factors in the team’s success. He is someone that young players learn from and that more experienced players respect.” – Sir Alex Ferguson
“He was a great player, without a doubt the best centre-half I ever played with. I would say for a time as well he was the best centre-half in the world. He was such a pleasure to play with. To play in front of him, he made your job so easy.” – Paul Scholes
“Now the position of the centre-back is not just about defending or being nasty or tough. It’s about knowing how to play football, control the ball, pass and be more comfortable in possession. This is something that 10 years ago [in England] they didn’t understand. Rio was the first one who did it.” – Gerard Pique
Ferdinand has won the Premier League title more times than any other centre-back.
Although Ferdinand only scored 11 PL goals, three of those came against Liverpool, for Leeds in April 2001 and Man Utd in January and October 2006.
The centre-back kept 189 PL clean sheets, the third-most of any defender behind John Terry (214) and Jamie Carragher (195).