Hall of Fame

The reasons why Rio Ferdinand joins Premier League Hall of Fame

3 May 2023
Rio Ferdinand with PL trophy

We look at the numbers that justify why the ex-Man Utd defender earns the league greatest honour

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Rio Ferdinand inducted into Premier League Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame: Rio Ferdinand in his own words

Rio Ferdinand is the latest former player to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. 

As well as claiming six Premier League titles with Manchester United, Ferdinand was known as one of the greatest ball-playing central defenders of his era.

Career in numbers
Category Rio Ferdinand
Appearances 504
Goals 11
Assists 8
Clean sheets 189
PL titles 6
Monthly awards 1
What they said

“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-back I ever played with. I would say for a time as well he was the best centre-back 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

The stats that back Rio up

Here are more numbers that confirm his greatness at whichever club he played.  

Ferdinand is the youngest player to score for West Ham United in the Premier League, aged 18 years and 86 days in 1997 against Blackburn Rovers.

Only Joe Cole (64) made more Premier League appearances for West Ham as a teenager than Ferdinand's 60.

Ferdinand has kept the third-most clean sheets of any defender in Premier League history (189), behind John Terry and Jamie Carragher.

Among the 50 players to play at least 50 Premier League matches for Leeds United, Ferdinand has the best win percentage of any (54 per cent - played 54, won 29).

Ferdinand ended on the winning side in all seven of the Premier League matches he scored in for Man Utd, with three of those goals the winners.

Three of Ferdinand’s 11 Premier League goals were against Liverpool (one for Leeds, two for Man Utd). He is also one of only two Man Utd players to score a 90th-minute winner v Liverpool, along with John O’Shea, while Ferdinand is the only one to do so at Old Trafford.

Ferdinand won 15 Premier League matches v Liverpool, only Ryan Giggs has won more in Premier League history (20).

Ferdinand ended on the winning side in 208 Premier League matches for Man Utd, with only six players doing so more often. His win ratio of 67 per cent is the joint second best of any player with 250+ games for the club, behind only Patrice Evra, with 68 per cent.

Ferdinand only faced one team more than once in the Premier League without ending on the winning side against them, Man Utd: 11 matches across his spells at West Ham, Leeds and Queens Park Rangers.

Also in this series

Part 1: Rio Ferdinand inducted into Premier League Hall of Fame
Part 3: Hall of Fame: Rio Ferdinand in his own words 

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