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The private life of Rio Ferdinand

Chris Charles | 12:55 UK time, Friday, 24 April 2009

So I'm just about to interview Rio Ferdinand when he breaks off to take a call from Michael Jackson. Welcome to the world of the Premier League footballer.

The Prince of Pop is ringing to wish Rio good luck for the launch of the player's latest venture - a celebrity-studded online magazine named in honour of his Manchester United shirt number, 'Five'.

When Ferdinand returns he admits: "I was shaking when I got off the phone. It was a real surprise. I'm hoping to interview him for a later edition and he's invited me to one of his concerts to come backstage and speak to him about it.

"The first album I ever owned was Bad, so that says it all. I got the album when I was living on the Friary estate in Peckham, who'd have thought that one day I might be meeting the guy?"
Michael Jackson
Given all the trappings of fame and fortune that accompany the modern-day footballer, Ferdinand is surprisingly grounded. Our 15-minute chat is peppered with references to his modest upbringing and the fortunate position he finds himself in today. A privilege that allows him to have a natter with Jacko and a one-on-one with rapper 50 Cent, who he interviewed for the first edition of the magazine.

"I was quite nervous meeting him," Rio confesses. "But it was great to see a different side, rather than this macho 'I've been shot a few times' image that everyone dwells on.

"Everyone expected me to go for someone like 50 Cent, pigeon-holing me a bit, so it was important to capture another element of him - away from that gangster image - and I think we did that. He was talking about politics and other interests he's got rather than just the obvious, so you got to see a softer side."

Mickey Rourke and Duffy also appear in the launch edition, although Ferdinand couldn't do those interviews himself, and with Jackson seemingly in the bag, I ask him what other big names he would like to talk to. The answer is rather surprising.

"If I could interview anyone in the world it would be the two princes, William and Harry," he answers without hesitation. "I'd love to get their take on the world, because no-one knows how they see it. It would be great to be the first people to do that. Barack Obama would be another one but I think I'd rather interview the princes first, because no-one's got an insight into what they're about."

So has this newly-honed journalistic instinct given him an insight into the world of the hungry hacks who spend their lives chasing him and his fellow-professionals looking for a decent angle?

"Not really. The difference is we're not trying to get an extravagant story, we're trying to get genuine answers to questions that hopefully a lot of other people out there would like to be asking themselves, rather than getting a juicy, crazy story that some media types would like."

The question has clearly touched a raw nerve and you feel a certain degree of sympathy for players who spend their lives being snapped by the paparazzi as they go about their daily lives - an issue which Ferdinand feels has contributed to the common perception that footballers are out of touch with the man on the street.

"There's a bigger divide between the fan and the player nowadays because people see the vast amounts of money players earn as a big problem," he concedes. "And then there's the whole interest in footballers and the way the media are in terms of the derogatory press that is sometimes promoted.

"You've got a story on a player here, mobile phones with cameras...it makes players clam up and not want to go to certain places because they think 'I'm gonna get camera-ed here by somebody who can earn £500 for giving someone a photo'. It's an automatic defence mechanism that makes people shy away a little bit and that's probably why the divide has come between the fan and the footballer.

"I still go out with my mates to the local pub and sit and have a drink, and sometimes when you get fans coming up and asking for autographs it's great, because that's part and parcel of being a footballer. But when you're with your kids it can be difficult because your kids are losing out (on your attention). The only way to look at it is that if you're not being asked for your autograph then you must be doing rubbish!"
Rio Ferdinand
Looking around the swish members club in the heart of London's banking district which is hosting the launch, I must confess to being more than a little detached from the modern-day footballer. It feels like the place is dripping in gold.

There's a constant flow of champagne, a bevy of gorgeous women and of course the players themselves and their assorted hangers-on. A few have come to show their support to Rio, most notably Ashley Cole and his West Ham namesake, Carlton. It's noticeable that Ashley spends the whole evening surrounded by male friends, just in case someone is lurking with one of those pesky camera phones.

It's certainly a world away from Nigeria, where Ferdinand spent time last summer to promote education to children through football. "That was a very humbling experience that puts everything into perspective in terms of materialistic issues," he says.

"It makes you understand how fortunate you are to be in the position we are when you go there and see the way people live on the other side of the world. In many cases the way they live is a complete contrast to the way we do. It makes you realise that when you're moaning about traffic, or getting the wrong pizza delivered....it makes you realise we are lucky even to be able to order a pizza."

Ferdinand is keen to return there soon, but knows he cannot give 100% commitment to anything until his footballing days are over, particularly now, aged 30, as he finds himself entering the twilight of his career.

"I've been in the game a long time now and I find myself acting a little bit like a big brother to some of the younger guys," he admits.

"It only seems like yesterday when I was being talked to by the likes of Iain Dowie and Ian Wright at West Ham. I'm now in the same period of my career as they were back then. You evolve into a different person.You've got responsibilites being one of the senior players in the changing room."

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So will he take that one step further and move into management when he eventually retires?

"Sometimes I wake up and think I'd love to be a manager. Other days I'd like to get really into my charity work with my 'Live The Dream' foundation and other days doing something like this in the media. Who knows? I'm not sure.

"But what I really want to do at the moment is concentrate on playing football. That's what I love more than anything else - and that is my true love. If I thought anything else I was doing outside of that would diminish it then I wouldn't do it, but at the moment it's working well."

And with a clutch of honours already under his belt, another Premier League title within touching distance and the small matter of a Champions League double-header with Arsenal coming up, it's hard to disagree.

Comments

  • 1. At 1:45pm on 24 Apr 2009, megabigchrisdevil wrote:

    wat a legend, man uniteds best ever defender imo

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  • 2. At 1:48pm on 24 Apr 2009, TheOriginalPillow wrote:

    I always count myself lucky to be able to order pizza...

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  • 3. At 1:54pm on 24 Apr 2009, no1likesjonarter wrote:

    I still dont understand why Rio isnt the England Captain, he certainly should be installed as UTD captain next season full time. The guy is clearly a great footballer, and maybe just as importantly a switch on individual who has done his growing up on and off the pitch.

    Yes people talk about missing the drug test, but then he wasnt given any credit after when he cleared his name of taken drugs. Funny how papers dont seem to highlight that in the press.

    Good Luck to the guy, he is clearly not just a roll model for young black & mixed race people but for all.

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  • 4. At 1:56pm on 24 Apr 2009, no1likesjonarter wrote:

    my comment is no3. can u change roll model to role model as cant seem to edit it as i know you'll read this

    and dont post this up aswell lol

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  • 5. At 1:56pm on 24 Apr 2009, The Best team evra wrote:

    Rio! Top man.

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  • 6. At 1:59pm on 24 Apr 2009, riggy wrote:

    Rio has the knowledge and experience and i'm happy he can get the traveling to other places and understand the materialism we have here.

    The paps are a nuisance but that comes with the job.

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  • 7. At 2:03pm on 24 Apr 2009, PabloATL wrote:

    lol at post 4

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  • 8. At 2:07pm on 24 Apr 2009, lost_the_flyaway wrote:

    I'm a big admirer of Rio and enjoyed reading the interview. It's great to see that he's so switched on and conscientious, especially as he's such a huge role model to so many kids.

    I agree with #3 and a lot of others in that he should be England skipper, but I guess Capello knows his stuff better than me!

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  • 9. At 2:09pm on 24 Apr 2009, gerrard29 wrote:

    Didn't Ferdinand defend Bowyer and Woodgate after their incident years ago? If Ferdinand becomes England and Man Utd captain, it would be a shame that we cannot find someone with more credibility and dignity. In my book, don't defend people who do not deserve it, even if it helps you with your own political ambitions. Just my opinion.

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  • 10. At 2:16pm on 24 Apr 2009, Sooty65 wrote:

    Great to see a top player talking about wider issues and with such a sympathetic perspective for less fortunate people. An intelligent footballer at the top of his game, now there's a treat. Good on you Rio.

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  • 11. At 2:17pm on 24 Apr 2009, mewheeler wrote:

    Yeah, great, where's he from, Peckham right? He's also into Hip Hop, isn't he, plus I remember he produced an hilarious tv show where he played 'pranks' on his 'mates' . . on the other hand, why doesn't he get on with playing football and keep quiet

    In the meantime, I must go, I think I've got a drug test this afternoon, but I could be wrong ( I struggle to remember these things)

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  • 12. At 2:17pm on 24 Apr 2009, Mr_Frederer wrote:

    The trouble is, when a footballer tries to sound like they have a social conscience they end up saying something daft like "it makes you realise we are lucky even to be able to order a pizza", or that they think it would be interesting to learn about the political views of the Princes.

    Fair play to him for his charity work though.

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  • 13. At 2:17pm on 24 Apr 2009, Ginger wrote:

    Seems a considered fella. What isn't in doubt is that he is the best defender in the prem bar none.

    United's defence as witnessed in Porto was so much more composed when he is there. He gives the whole team confidence.

    Lets hope he can help England in SA.

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  • 14. At 2:21pm on 24 Apr 2009, timwebber wrote:

    Haha...this is hilarious!

    I'd like to interview William and Harry...

    We should be grateful we can even order pizza..

    lol

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  • 15. At 2:22pm on 24 Apr 2009, timwebber wrote:

    Haha, and also...Nigeria..the other side of the world...classic!

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  • 16. At 2:23pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    What a pointless article footballer does magazine thing and is grounded and came from a poor background blah blah blah. So a footballer is relatively normal hardly interesting. Heard all this cliched stuff before.

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  • 17. At 2:23pm on 24 Apr 2009, grandCanary wrote:

    Re comment no.9 - do people really care about this sort of thing? - about what people have said years ago? (and not even controversial!) - quite sad really, especially if then effects decision about who should captain England.

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  • 18. At 2:25pm on 24 Apr 2009, jamminben13 wrote:

    Comment number 4 is the funniest thing I've read today!!

    The article is a nice PR spin for Rio, he seems to going for the vacant Princess Diana / Jade Goody slot in the British psyche. I hope he gets it.
    Nice guy.

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  • 19. At 2:26pm on 24 Apr 2009, mikeyb wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 20. At 2:27pm on 24 Apr 2009, lightother1 wrote:

    about 2 thirds into this, I lost the will to live!!!!what a load of self indulgent coddswollop!Poor little Rio Playing with his money, inflicting more self promoting tripe onto a nation that just doesn't care !! another media failure !

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  • 21. At 2:28pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    Just thinking maybe Rio Ferdinand could be the first black/mixed race Prime Minister? He's got all the credentials what with his charity work, and acute awareness of political issues and so forth.

    I say vote Rio.

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  • 22. At 2:29pm on 24 Apr 2009, c_hawk2020 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 23. At 2:30pm on 24 Apr 2009, The Dirty Tackle wrote:

    A great defender and possibly a Man Utd legend.

    However, this blog seems to be advocating Ferdinand as some sort of journalistic messiah.
    Instead of honing interview techniques and writing ability et al at university or college - just become a professional footballer, you are qualified to do whatever you turn your hand to. This includes David James as an ''art critic''.
    At least Gavin Strachan's doing it the right way.

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  • 24. At 2:32pm on 24 Apr 2009, kevthered83 wrote:

    ha ha ha mikey b, i wanted to post a similar comment, but I figured it would get blocked. These also a line after about a camera phone, but il leave that alone!

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  • 25. At 2:33pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    Oh dear. It was all going so well and now the snipers are out with a vengeance! Of course we're not all going to agree on whether we like a particular player or his views on life, but as a journalist it was refreshing to have a footballer giving considered answers to your questions, rather than some of the monosyllabic replies you often receive and have to try and turn into a piece.

    I only had 15 minutes in his company but I observed Rio as he worked the room over the course of the evening and he seems a genuinely nice guy, dividing his time between his mates and the few star-struck kids who'd managed to slip in to get a glimpse of their hero.

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  • 26. At 2:34pm on 24 Apr 2009, Tatloaf wrote:

    Comment number 4 is brilliant!

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  • 27. At 2:37pm on 24 Apr 2009, c_hawk2020 wrote:

    Fair point about the considered answers - too many footballers are media trained to within an inch of their lives and so you get the same old "most important fing is free points, done it for my team etc".

    But Ferdinand comments such as the camera phone comment is stupid. Plus these players seem to forget the reason they earn millions a year - because of us, the fans.

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  • 28. At 2:42pm on 24 Apr 2009, Dennistoundon wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 29. At 2:42pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    In response to Chris I think the snipers are out because if I want to see an interview of Harry and William I want it to be done by a professioanl interviewer. Too often in this celebrity driven society we have people using their celebrity brand to crossover into genres that they're not experts in, often no doubt at the expense of genuine talent.

    We shouldn't extoll the virtues of a footballer just because he can string two sentences together, sounds more like a poor indictment on the rest of those media trained morons.

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  • 30. At 2:46pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    Got to agree with all the people who think No 4 has posted the best comment ever - he should get his own blog!

    27. I take your point about the camera phones but then I've never been in the position where people want to take my picture when I'm having a pint or walking to the shops - can't think why.

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  • 31. At 2:47pm on 24 Apr 2009, c_hawk2020 wrote:

    A good point well made Dalgrush.

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  • 32. At 2:47pm on 24 Apr 2009, Shanealdinho wrote:

    Rio is a top man.Its great to see him have such ambition and drive even though he's already made up for life.The magazine is great,its gives a super insight into the people interviewed.Players like Rio and Becks deserve a serious amount of credit for the work they do with charity home and abroad. It would be easy for them to sit around and pick up their pay packet at the end of the week,but they dont.They give something back. And when it comes to football,Rio is by far the best centre half in the world right now. Top man Rio.Keep up the good work!

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  • 33. At 2:50pm on 24 Apr 2009, c_hawk2020 wrote:

    It seems a shame that players protect themselves so much that seeing them 'out and about' is such an event that people want to mob them.

    28. Agree wholly with your comments on JT. I worked for a company who held an event that JT was involved in, and as an Arsenal fan I wanted to hate him, but he was a very nice bloke. I was gutted!! lol

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  • 34. At 2:51pm on 24 Apr 2009, sneakyprice07 wrote:

    Why are people so quick to put people down in this country.
    Jealous of Rio's success, jealous he has interests beyond football, jealous he is a winner and hates him because of man united no doubt.
    I would be surprised if some of the people who comment even read the article.
    He is simply trying to articulate how lucky he feels. Other people wouldn't have used the pizza example but he did. Get over it and look beyond the original comment to the meaning before putting your silly comments down after.

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  • 35. At 2:53pm on 24 Apr 2009, Tadis-Red wrote:

    lmao @ comment no.4... funny guy!!

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  • 36. At 2:53pm on 24 Apr 2009, c_hawk2020 wrote:

    Sneakyprice07 - you are an idiot.

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  • 37. At 2:54pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    29. Dalgrush: Yes, as a journalist I wouldn't mind interviewing them myself! But like anyone else who publishes a magazine, he and his people have a right to put a call into the Palace and chance their arm. Gary Lineker was slated when he first hosted Match of the Day but, like him or not, he has made that position his own now.

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  • 38. At 2:59pm on 24 Apr 2009, Magic8BaLL wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 39. At 3:00pm on 24 Apr 2009, Danshevik wrote:

    Oh dear. The real reason why he wants to interview Ginge and Winge is because they are white, (michael jackson doesnt count) even you comment on 2 players that are at the bash as being the two Cole's, id imagine reocoker and the other Ferdinand being there as well. I see a posse to rival Dr Dre's gang coming up, celebrity deathmatch methinks?

    His effort at sounding like an Average Joe is commendable, but how many people can afford to fly to the 'other side of the world (!)' to Nigeria?

    Maybe he should go to countries where the people are people oppressed and terrorised, like Sudan, Iraq and America.

    Obama And Ferdinand at a G8 summit, i can just see it now...

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  • 40. At 3:00pm on 24 Apr 2009, Magic8BaLL wrote:

    Doon't delete my comment please Chris, it's subtle enough to be acceptable I think.

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  • 41. At 3:03pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    40. Sorry Magic8BALL - the moderators are already on to it. And to be it was about as subtle as a burglar in a suit of armour!

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  • 42. At 3:03pm on 24 Apr 2009, Blogcabin wrote:

    I don't know whether anyone has looked through the #5 e-zine, but this "One-to-one" interview with 50 Cent, seems to be written by Owen Blackhurst. Is that Rio's pseudonym, or was it not really a one-to-one?

    And if he gets commission for every time his picture is in the thing, he will be an even wealthier man than he is now...

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  • 43. At 3:06pm on 24 Apr 2009, RubberNutz wrote:

    "it makes you realise we are lucky even to be able to order a pizza". Utterly priceless.

    Rio you are my comedy hero. Now get back helping you gaffer mentally unravel please.

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  • 44. At 3:10pm on 24 Apr 2009, Pranksteroflove-Carroll-singer wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 45. At 3:10pm on 24 Apr 2009, Dom_01 wrote:

    I agree with comment #4

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  • 46. At 3:11pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    Chris - You've kind of proved my point that but for Gary Linker we would be enjoying the dulcet tones and wit of a new Des Lynham instead we have old jug ears.

    The reason everyone slated Mr Lineker was because he was rubbish. Thanks to the BBC's training and polishing they managed to make him half descent, but for every Gary Linker there's a John Barnes.

    Personally I would much rather listen to Adrian Charles and I think MOD lacks that contrast of a lamen anchor man and the professional pundit.

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  • 47. At 3:11pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    39. Danshevik: I think you'll find Rio is mixed-race, so it's a bit of a daft comment. I can confirm there were people of all colours and creeds at the launch, including footballers not as famous as the Coles.

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  • 48. At 3:13pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    or even half decent

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  • 49. At 3:14pm on 24 Apr 2009, 11_Giggsy_11_dont_save_606 wrote:

    Its a shame that Pool fans have to ruin this thread with their usual petty bitterness

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  • 50. At 3:15pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    42. Blogcabin: The magazine of course has 'proper journalists' working on it, one of whom would have written the spiel that accompanied the interview. But if you click on the images you'll see Rio talking to 'Fiddy' on a couch.

    46. Dalgrush: Permission to print out your comment, take it down to the MOTD office and demand they install a 'proper journalist' in the hot-seat - me!

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  • 51. At 3:17pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    11_Gigsy_11 What are we ruining exactly a Rio love in?

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  • 52. At 3:19pm on 24 Apr 2009, West London Blues wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 53. At 3:21pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    permission granted, although it may lack weight!

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  • 54. At 3:24pm on 24 Apr 2009, bobo wrote:

    You know you've made it when Michael Jackson phones you personally.
    That must have been a surreal moment!

    To be honest, I always thought Rio was a bit..well, dumb. But it sounds as though I could have been wrong about him, so will have to check 'Five' to see what it's like.

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  • 55. At 3:29pm on 24 Apr 2009, jordanuk90MUFC wrote:

    #16 Dalgrush
    Miserable Liverpool fan ?? Thought so I think what Rio's doing is a great idea not just because im a united fan because im a human being should try it sometime (:

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  • 56. At 3:30pm on 24 Apr 2009, West London Blues wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 57. At 3:31pm on 24 Apr 2009, fozzyrobbohartley1902 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 58. At 3:33pm on 24 Apr 2009, expat_99 wrote:

    to dalgrush, west london blues and all the other clowns on this thread:

    i think you should complain that:

    - rio has the audacity to have personality
    - he has the audacity to try and take advantage of some of the opportunities afforded to him as a celebrity / footballer
    - he dares to think about pursuing another career once his footie career is over

    who does he think he is???

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  • 59. At 3:35pm on 24 Apr 2009, Joey Blanc wrote:

    In response to #27, c_hawk2020 , who says "the reason they earn millions a year - because of us, the fans" ...

    That is utter tripe. There is only one reason those players earn as much as they do - their hard work. They are not royalty, they do not inherit their wealth, they do not get a job and sit down all month waiting for a paycheck decided from up above. Its a dog eat dog business football, and there are thousands and thousands of those that tried but simply could not cut it. Players like Rio Ferdinand earn what they do because they combine their natural talents with lots of hard work, dedication and professionalism , just like the top earners in any field, be it politics, media, academia, public service , entertainment etc... There is a reason why United are happy to pay him £120k a week or whatever he gets rather than employing 120 defenders on £1k a week ( I'm sure there would be a lot of people that would clamour for even that opportunity ) Fans CHOOSE to pay to watch football, and most consider it worth the amounts paid. Stop the hypocritical judgements. Judge him as a person, not by what he owns, because believe you me, there are billions of under priviledged people who would view your life as priviledged as you view Rio's.

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  • 60. At 3:42pm on 24 Apr 2009, smartgooner wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 61. At 3:43pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 62. At 3:46pm on 24 Apr 2009, sneakyprice07 wrote:

    #36 c_hawk2020
    No need. I think if you read some of the comments you will see that people seem to have made an opinion before reading, if they have read at all.
    If you wish to start an argument, I suggest you either respond to peoples comments as opposed to being rude without backing up your thoughts.

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  • 63. At 3:47pm on 24 Apr 2009, Malicious_Whistle wrote:

    30. Hi Chris, very sorry about your plight ... Armed with my camera phone, I shall stalk you from now on. I hope this is satisfactory?

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  • 64. At 3:51pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    Comment 55 - you're quite right it's an incredible idea I reckon magazines could really take off in the future.

    Comment 58 - What's audacious about having personality, is it ever so daring I don't understand this please elucidate me?

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  • 65. At 3:51pm on 24 Apr 2009, Danshevik wrote:

    "Everyone expected me to go for someone like 50 Cent, pigeon-holing me a bit".

    I merely said that he would want to interview the Prince's to look more balanced to those who pigeon hole him.

    Seen as you jumped on my back so quick making me out to be racist, i think you pigeon holed him too and are feeling guilty.

    Just a hunch.

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  • 66. At 3:53pm on 24 Apr 2009, smartgooner wrote:

    footballers nowadays are more interested in how people see them,personal glories everytime they shoot they look at the camera and pose to be noticed, when ever they get a praised it goes straight to there head, players like paul scholes, bergkamp and giggs are better role models than players like rio ferdiand becuase its not about being a celebrity but about being a footballer, honest hard working talented players, and as fans thats what we want.

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  • 67. At 3:57pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    63. Thanks Malicious_Whistle - I feel wanted at last!

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  • 68. At 4:00pm on 24 Apr 2009, foxtrot_charlie wrote:

    talking about serious journos not getting the nod ahead of ex-pro pundits is spot on. It just seems too easy for footballers to make a living (as if they need to) after they hang up the boots!

    as for lineker on MOTD, although he's been doing it long enough to be decent, i think the asian bloke who does footie focus (manish?) should be getting all the good bbc gigs - cant believe jake humphrey got the nod for f1 and superbowl... slightly off subject but still...

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  • 69. At 4:02pm on 24 Apr 2009, Hunter Stockton wrote:

    It's an interesting one. I for one have been as critical as you like about Rio in the past - his obvious foolishness in missing a drugs test to go shopping, comments that he has made in the past about Englands best ever XI (which included Gary Neville for crying out loud...) but this article does give an interesting insight to the guy.

    It is fascinating to actually be able to hear what a player has to say for once, rather than the press simply going along with publicising their stereotypical comments about their lifestyles. I had an idea that he was into his charitable work and everything, but this really does shine a further light onto the whole matter and portrays him in a completely new light. Cheers Chris.

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  • 70. At 4:03pm on 24 Apr 2009, expat_99 wrote:

    and on the england captain point.

    JT is hardly a role model, note that 'in September 2001 Terry was fined two weeks wages by Chelsea after drunkenly harassing grieving American tourists in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks'

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Terry

    arguably a fair bit worse than missing a drugs test, or making comedy 'you got murked' videos

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  • 71. At 4:04pm on 24 Apr 2009, sirfatguy wrote:

    Rio, the self-appointed joker in the Man U and England dressing rooms...on football blogs that print all comments (I understand the BBC can't), Rio is one of the most mocked footballers around, mostly for his comments, often for his absurd magazine, sometimes for his celebration. Can't wait for him as a manager.

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  • 72. At 4:05pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    65. Danshevik: Your hunch is wrong, old bean. I merely pointed out that Rio was mixed race - and had your comment been deemed to be racist then of course it would have been removed.

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  • 73. At 4:05pm on 24 Apr 2009, Muesli_used_for_cheese wrote:

    I love it! Not the interview. Just the hilarious comments everyone adds.

    Why do footballers do charity work? To boost their image and to encourage joe public to dip into his pocket. Stating the obvious I know.

    Chrid i'd love to see you host MOTD but unfortunately you've got the perfect face for radio. I don't mean it really. You're beautiful.

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  • 74. At 4:05pm on 24 Apr 2009, fozzyrobbohartley1902 wrote:

    what a surprise, comment 'referred to moderators' simply for calling rio, the author of this guff and the bbc for the shambles that they all undoubtedly are. Shameful. No wonder i don't ever pay my licence

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  • 75. At 4:08pm on 24 Apr 2009, sirCantona_legend wrote:

    Just a little point for the 'witty' no.4 comment re no.3's comment......if you're going to correct grammer, then you're probably best checking your own. 'Aswell' has never been a word!

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  • 76. At 4:15pm on 24 Apr 2009, lightother1 wrote:

    oh dear! no wonder the games going to the dogs when we have idiots who thinks this sort of ego rubbing by Rio is a wonderful idea. just because he can doesn't mean he should! he's inflicted this sort on nonsense on the public before !! who can forget 'Rio's wind ups' or his record label white chalk ( Rio rapping) or his film making 'dead man running' with guess who starring .... 50 cent. Rio's biggest problem is he's got no one to say don't!

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  • 77. At 4:19pm on 24 Apr 2009, foxtrot_charlie wrote:

    75. surely you mean 'correct grammar'?

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  • 78. At 4:22pm on 24 Apr 2009, grandCanary wrote:

    umm - not sure No. 75 quite understands....

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  • 79. At 4:25pm on 24 Apr 2009, sirCantona_legend wrote:

    haha! Touche!!

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  • 80. At 4:25pm on 24 Apr 2009, matthewdoran wrote:

    lets not forget about not turning up for a couple of drug test!

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  • 81. At 4:27pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    or Kelsey Grammer? Can we desist with the pedanticisms?

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  • 82. At 4:31pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    73. nomadic_dan: Me - a face for radio? How very dare you. You're right, of course.

    74. Pringy1: Probably not the best idea to declare your lack of a TV licence on a BBC website, Just a thought.

    76. lightother1: Maybe he's sussing out his options before retiring.It's supply and demand - if he can get interviews with 50 Cent and Jacko then people are going to read them. World Cup Wind-ups... darn, forgot to ask him about that - I was dying to know whether 'merked' was a real word or one he made up. Guess I'm not down with the kids.

    What I would say is that regarding the piece itself, I only reported what I found - if I had sat down and he'd insulted my mother and called me a scumbag then I would have written about it - the fact of the matter was he came across as a decent bloke.

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  • 83. At 4:33pm on 24 Apr 2009, matthewdoran wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 84. At 4:35pm on 24 Apr 2009, RedGogs wrote:

    .......and coincidently, just as you were about to interview him, jacko phones????????? nice bit of pr spin for the interview one thinks.....!!!!!!

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  • 85. At 4:35pm on 24 Apr 2009, okelloLB wrote:

    Chris, I think you have done a great job but one thing you keep on forgetting is that no body would want to prick his or her own eyes. Rio, sincerely knew he was to go for a test and went shopping as mentioned in No. 69. This guy has done bad things more than the trash he told you. Make your reservations next time. Yes he is a great player but what about other bit of his weaknesses???

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  • 86. At 4:38pm on 24 Apr 2009, U13932686 wrote:

    Can't we all scrimp some money together and get poster #4 to interview the princes? That, i'm sure, even Rio Ferdinand would pay to see.

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  • 87. At 4:41pm on 24 Apr 2009, redandblackT-Save 606 wrote:

    In the midst of the title race did you feel, Chris, you might have asked him about...let me think...THE PREMIER LEAGUE TITLE?maybe a little question or two?instead of this powder puff filler.And what's this tosh about pizzas?I love quotes of the week and review but this...?You owe me an article Chris Charles!!

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  • 88. At 4:41pm on 24 Apr 2009, andyp1001 wrote:

    I dont usually post on these blogs but found some of the comments just pure comedy.

    As a fan of a lower league club looking from afar i found this comment priceless

    #43 "go back and watch your manager unravel" genius!!!! Rafa Benitez rant lost Liverpool the premier league oh and there out of Europe oh and the FA Cup oh and they didnt win the Carling Cup another trophy less season for Liverpool Priceless!!!!

    Dalgrush great comments about Rio!!!(not) your way off the mark also i understand Liverpool fans don't like Manchester United players or fans but you have to look outside the box and realise they are also human beings out of football. Everybody is quick to slate people without really knowing the truth.I think Rio is clearly a good role model and good luck to him

    Not even a Man u fan Carlisle United all the way here we may need another Jimmy Glass injury time winner to save us this year.

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  • 89. At 4:47pm on 24 Apr 2009, TommyO wrote:

    "If I could interview anyone in the world it would be the two princes, William and Harry," he answers without hesitation. "I'd love to get their take on the world, because no-one knows how they see it.

    Brilliant !


    They see it from over railings keeping ordinary people at a distance, through the bullet proof glass of a stretch limo, the windows of a private jet or from atop one of their palaces/castles/country estates. All of it handed to them on a plate, courtesy of who their granny is. Hope this helps, Rio.

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  • 90. At 4:49pm on 24 Apr 2009, RetroGirl wrote:

    Well, I thought it was an interesting read. He's only a footballer for crying out loud, don't expect Gandalf or Geldof. Fair play to him for recognising the profile he happens to have. He also realises that money and fame do not make you a superior type of person and he has every right to be wary of numpties with cameras!

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  • 91. At 4:50pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    The one thing that makes me laugh about football fans is their memories for peoples indescretions i.e. the drug test!

    This must be where the phrase mud sticks comes from, my favourite is David Pleat the Kerb Crawler.



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  • 92. At 4:52pm on 24 Apr 2009, philtoon82 wrote:

    god TommyOnion, it took nearly 4hours for you to come on here and kick-off, your losing your touch! ha ha.

    Anyone heard from boomshakalak yet??

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  • 93. At 4:55pm on 24 Apr 2009, philtoon82 wrote:

    75. At 4:08pm on 24 Apr 2009, sirCantona_legend wrote:
    Just a little point for the 'witty' no.4 comment re no.3's comment......if you're going to correct grammer, then you're probably best checking your own. 'Aswell' has never been a word!

    poster #4 IS Poster#3!! .... maybe you should keep off the booze whilst at work......

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  • 94. At 4:58pm on 24 Apr 2009, lightother1 wrote:

    look who told /forced you in to this ? your justification for this waffle seems to be he's a 'decent bloke' and Jacko phoned him up during the interview, ( which I doubt). lets see where this is next year, when Rio has run out of mates to feature, or he's bored and has moved onto acting or virtuoso brain surgery!

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  • 95. At 5:00pm on 24 Apr 2009, andyp1001 wrote:

    Dalgrush many people remember he missed a drug test and only he knows the real reason but that is done and over with now im sure you have made many mistakes and learned from them and you can't argue he has become a better player after that incident and CLEARLY learned from his mistake.

    I seem to remember a certain Mr Gerrard being involved in trouble not so long a go were you as quick to condem him?

    The point is if ferdinand played for Liverpool you wouldn't even be writing right now

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  • 96. At 5:06pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    andyp1001 - I think you kind of missed the point, I haven't really criticsed Rio's personality I don't really care about him. I just like to see people with genuine talent for something stick to what they are good at. That is as opposed to those who use their fame and celebrity status to be successful at something else without any decernible talent.

    This is often due to the less decerning members of society who are perpared to buy Britney Perfum, Jamie Oliver Kitchen scales and whatever comes next maybe Rio Ferdinand drug testing kits.

    I'm sure Rio Ferdinand is a decent bloke but lets not pretend his charity work etc is about giving something back he's just reeling off platitudes, we've all heard before. If you're looking for a top bloke its got to be Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs so it's not all about Livepool hating the Manc players.

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  • 97. At 5:07pm on 24 Apr 2009, TommyO wrote:

    Tommy will do, Phil.

    No need to call me God.

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  • 98. At 5:08pm on 24 Apr 2009, lukasson wrote:

    The poor guy has been asked some questions and he's answered them as honestly as possible, and everyone is laying into him for it. God forbid he should have the audacity to say that he'd like to interview William and Harry if he had the chance... Surely he should be thinking about football and things more related to something he is already associated with, he has no right to want to aspire to interview the princes!?

    He's worked hard to become a footballer, and he's taken a lot of abuse along the way. I see no reason why he shouldn't be using it as an opportunity to cross over into journalism, in the same way that journalists use it as a crossover into presenting, or a businessman starts out in one industry, and then uses their succcess to diversify into another industry.

    I think a lot of these comments really show how narrow minded some people are, and how many of the people can justify sitting there and ridiculing Rio for the answers he gave, when they're coming out with complete garbage that makes them look like fools themselves. It makes the mind boggle...

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  • 99. At 5:11pm on 24 Apr 2009, rioconvert wrote:

    The snide remarks posted about Rio's pizza comments overlook what seems to me to be a telling phrase in the interview. This is where Rio mentions "getting the wrong pizza delivered". Clearly Rio has endured this traumatic and harrowing experience recently but yet he does not make a meal (no pun intended of course) of this or ask for any sympathy. This shows the man's selfless concern only for the less fortunate which should be admired not mocked as with many of these cynical posts.

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  • 100. At 5:14pm on 24 Apr 2009, Rabster wrote:

    Footballer says "It puts everything into perspective." (Sitting in a "swish" London club) having accepted a phone call from Michael Jackson.
    Your finest moment Chris, please go out on a high. (a la Jim Magilton)

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  • 101. At 5:14pm on 24 Apr 2009, ak47dgunner wrote:

    King Rio is a titled man in Nigeria (my country)!Nice job,my only issue wth Rio: the drug scam&whenever he plays against Arsenal.other than that Rio's a perfect gentleman who's got a nurtured approach to life and football.I once read about him having a boring life watching TV,unlike others who'll appear on pages on soft-sell magz. Rio,kudos but hey watch it when u play against Arsenal in UEFA CL and the return leg of the PL.
    lol!

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  • 102. At 5:16pm on 24 Apr 2009, Foppotee wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 103. At 5:21pm on 24 Apr 2009, West London Blues wrote:

    Outrageous. Did the blogger not like my comments about rio? Where the moderators offended that i criticised the blogger? This is as pathetic as the football player in question.

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  • 104. At 5:27pm on 24 Apr 2009, lightother1 wrote:

    re; 98 I think the fridge light not working, would make your mind boggle!

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  • 105. At 5:27pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    89. TommyOnion: Gotta admit - that was quite funny! Is that youor real name?

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  • 106. At 5:32pm on 24 Apr 2009, NYCfootballfan wrote:

    Wow.... Football fans will sometimes find any reason at all to be nasty and bitter. How anyone can find a reason to spew venom of this article is both astounding and very sad.

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  • 107. At 5:34pm on 24 Apr 2009, Malicious_Whistle wrote:

    101. At 5:14pm on 24 Apr 2009, ak47dgunner wrote:
    King Rio is a titled man in Nigeria
    ...........................................

    Err, a Chief, not a King. Sure you are Nigerian?

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  • 108. At 5:35pm on 24 Apr 2009, dribbles_ wrote:

    Another celebrity magazine - exactly what the world needs. I really have no idea where to track down enough photos or salicious goss about our social betters! Thank goodness for this! But also one that shows they are not just fame hungry mercenaries and have 'softer' sides. And the princes - well apart from the monarchy being a totally cool worthwhile idea in 2009 I am sure their underservedly priviliged background in the aristocracy running around shooting small animals will give them some amazing insights into our world. Famous people are just so amazing.... sigh.... Welcome to the machine......

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  • 109. At 5:44pm on 24 Apr 2009, lukasson wrote:

    RE: #104

    I don't think you know me well enough to make that assumption. I may well be a master fridge engineer...

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  • 110. At 5:51pm on 24 Apr 2009, NYCfootballfan wrote:

    "And the princes - well apart from the monarchy being a totally cool worthwhile idea in 2009 I am sure their underservedly priviliged background in the aristocracy running around shooting small animals will give them some amazing insights into our world."

    I stand corrected!

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  • 111. At 5:55pm on 24 Apr 2009, Paul wrote:

    although i agree in part with NYCfootballfan, that there is nothing paticularly wrong with this article, the complaints are more a reflection of football fans being tired of footballers continual hypocrisy and general arrogance.

    remember ferdinand is a man that actively works with anti-gun campaigns and then co-produces a gangster film! And also complains of media attention and then name drops michael jackson and presents his own prank tv show.

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  • 112. At 6:03pm on 24 Apr 2009, U-Knighted-Ed wrote:

    I'm staggered at the cynicism in the posts here. Give the guy a break for crying out loud!

    He seems like a genuine guy and despite his 'mis-steps' when he was younger he shouldn't be judged just for that, he is a great player now and has matured into an influential and important ambassador for the sport. We should give him our support, not damn him with back handed comments and pathetic snide remarks. Grow up.

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  • 113. At 6:08pm on 24 Apr 2009, EL_NANDO wrote:

    Post #4

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  • 114. At 6:09pm on 24 Apr 2009, Always United Save 606 wrote:

    Rio's a very down to earth character and an absolutely brilliant centre back, the best in europe by some distance.

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  • 115. At 6:09pm on 24 Apr 2009, Paul wrote:

    i do like post #112 - telling everyone here to 'grow up' when criticising a 30 year old that makes gun films and prank television shows.

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  • 116. At 6:16pm on 24 Apr 2009, Abs_manutd wrote:

    The funny thing is people read the whole article and decided wait let me have a go at rio for doing something which in no way effects me but makes me slightly jealous. Yes they get millions a year and yes rio has made mistakes but hes only trying to reach to people in different ways. If you dont like the intreview or the person then dont read it and dont post stupid comments about it. I was going through the magazine and it dont seem to bad actully. Rio is a great footballer and like it or not he wants to try things outside football!!

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  • 117. At 6:27pm on 24 Apr 2009, ACTwerton wrote:

    Yeah, he seems like an OK guy. So flippin what?

    My mum's been a nurse for 50 odd years, where's her fawning sycophantic blogshrine?

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  • 118. At 6:36pm on 24 Apr 2009, CISSEATION wrote:

    Who cares.

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  • 119. At 7:04pm on 24 Apr 2009, jonesstrikesback wrote:

    Yes, its the other side to Rio alright... I just hope someone told him most start up online mags, or in print go out of business in the first five years... I suppose his wages can float the mag and run it at a loss to get tax breaks elsewhere, Its what my old boss used to do! incidently I wonder if that's why he called it five... nothing to do with his number...

    Rio ferdinands C.V now reads, Internationally respected footballer, Philanthropist and editor at large. not a bad life if you can get it for knocking a ball about! So long as he keeps up his commitments outside of football - i wont complain about him, forgetful or not he's a class center half and one I thoroughly enjoy watching. not sure I can be bothered to read about Wacko Jacko though... All coming from a Chel... im going senile...

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  • 120. At 7:26pm on 24 Apr 2009, BrenPool wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 121. At 7:26pm on 24 Apr 2009, snoopy wrote:

    lol at ferdinand, all footballers are overpaid chavs

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  • 122. At 7:37pm on 24 Apr 2009, kahoopla wrote:

    #61 Not sure I'd agree with you there, but that was hysterical!!

    Have to admit to being a Man U hater here, and having an avid dislike of Rio as a footballer, but fair dues to the guy, he could sit back and do nothing, have no interest in charity or doing anything after his playing days. He has the opportunity to help people with his charity work, and do something else with his life, and he does, yea it may be easy for him to do this stuff, but its easier still to not bother.

    Don't give a hoot about his upbringing tho, we all had it tough!

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  • 123. At 7:38pm on 24 Apr 2009, ProfStriker wrote:

    In defense of Rio, and to provide an inverse corollary: I'm a Professor of Classics and also contribute occasional journalistic pieces on literature, music, and (yes) football to a variety of newspapers and magazines. I once had a (not too successful) spell as a reserve-team striker. My chances of making the first team looked bleak, and I had a Ph.D. in hand, so I called it quits. When I am invited to lecture at a city where there happens to be a football team I admire, I pay the grounds a visit, and my standing as a professor is sometimes sufficient to say, see the stadium when it is closed, and/or even to meet some players. Last June, at Edinburgh, I visited Hearts at their training ground. Far from being aloof, the players actually talked about academia with me: several of them expressed concerns about their post-football futures; several actually asked how to 'learn how to write' and how to 'apply to universities'. Now, that, to my ears, showed great humility. Clearly, many footballers--perhaps not those of Rio's stature--are concerned with what they can do after they retire, and many of those players (like Gavan Strachan) pursue mid- to late-career goals in the same way that you or I would. There are people in other walks of life--politics, media, academia, wine-auctioning, yacht-building, baby-sitting--who might have certain degrees of social and professional access into other fields of work and areas of interest, entertainment, sport, etc. Why should football players be denied that access? Am I out of line if I show up at a football event, or even contribute a journalistic piece to the sports pages of a given newspaper, because I am 'using' my credentials as a professor as a means of access? I don't think so. If you work hard to obtain something, you sometimes can also obtain (through work, to be sure) certain corollary benefits--and corollary criticism. Rio is not wrong to start a magazine--but indeed, if he writes nonsense, then he is open to the same criticism as he would be if he were a professional journalist, precisely because he has chosen to engage in 'professional' journalism. I grasp the word 'professional' in the tweezer-grip of inverted commas because, as some comments have asserted, Gavin Strachan is, to my mind, doing things the right way by having the humility to learn how to be a journalist.

    We are right to criticise--even to laugh at--Rio's comments because he has decided to commit his words to a journalistic medium. Similarly, if I were to say, "I'm a professor, but boy do I love football! Rio, can kick the ball around with you and have my shenanigans publicised by the BBC?", doubtless I would trip over my own left-foot, pull my groin in the process, and ultimately fall on my backside and make a fool of myself--and every viewer would have every right to laugh at me. My students, whose tuition largely pays my salary, would have every right to criticise--publically--my extra-curricular short-comings. So, I think that Rio is perfectly entitled to do what he wants with his social access, his financial access, and the access which his fame affords him. Similarly, we have every right to laugh at him and/or (constructively, at best) to criticise him for his verbal shortcomings. If Rio is reading, I'd suggest that he stick to charity work. If Rio wants to continue to work on his magazine, I would urge him to donate the profits to charitable organisations. If his magazine makes money which is then dispersed to his self-selected (I would imagine) 'journalists', it seems slightly unpalatable to me for Rio to have a footballer's salary and a journalist's or publisher's salary. And a note on the paparazzi: they, like Rio, are simply trying to do a job. Is it annoying? Certainly. But it is also annoying when a given player is as petulant on the pitch as he is off the pitch. There's no harm in driving a subtle car, and no harm in staying at home. The attitude of most famous footballers--which can be summarised as "I want to be famous and I want you to look at me and I want you to talk to me, but don't look too hard and don't talk too much, because you might cross my arbitrary threshold of tolerance and annoy me to the point of verbal and/or outright physical abuse"--is an attitude of, as the saying goes, having your cake and eating it too.

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  • 124. At 7:48pm on 24 Apr 2009, kahoopla wrote:

    #123 That's what I said....

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  • 125. At 8:09pm on 24 Apr 2009, ProfStriker wrote:

    #124: We were simultaneously under moderation.

    I similarly dislike Man U, but your word--'hater'--is a touch too strong, no? Have you been spending your evening reading Rooney's (forthcoming) editorial project, "Merseyside A-Z"?

    Chris' blog makes me wonder: Wouldn't the interview with Rio have been infinitely more interesting if BBC had asked Gavin Strachan to talk to Rio? One excellent-footballer-cum-poor-journalist (Rio Ferdinand) speaking with one decent-footballer-cum-promising-journalist (Gavin Strachan)--now that would have been more inquiring than what seems to be an unbiased adulation of Rio. Chris, did you--now be honest--chuckle when you quoted Rio's comments about pizza and about cameras which contain, against all odds and expectations, cameras?

    Chris--your thoughts? Gavin--are you allowed to comment?

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  • 126. At 8:20pm on 24 Apr 2009, ManUtd Till I Die wrote:

    Oh why does people hate such a successful young lad in the name of RIO FEDINAND? It's a shame that he's being hated by his own country people[ENGLAND], he has really done a lot of great jobs for ENGLAND right from inn and out of the football pitch.It's simply a disgrace and shame to you English people who are wishing him bad or jealousing his future ambition outside football.Rio is a Hero.Post 4, is not interesting rather, i consider Post 34 as the best and every ENGLISH person should be proud and support RIO atleast for his act of charity and good will.

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  • 127. At 8:26pm on 24 Apr 2009, kahoopla wrote:

    I just used "hater", from all the previous comments, quite obviously if you are a Liverpool fan, you are a Man U hater (apparently). And similarly if you disagree or dislike anything Man U, you must be a hater. It can't have anything to do with just differing opinions. For instance, the diatribe ferguson came out with about Benitez over the big sam affair. Obviously disagreeing with his drivel, and being liverpool fan makes me a hater, even tho most of the non-liverpool supporters views agreed with me.

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  • 128. At 8:34pm on 24 Apr 2009, ProfStriker wrote:

    #126: For someone who is apparently so fond of England as to capitalise the word "ENGLISH" (see your final sentence), your command of the eponymous language--that is, English--is poor. There is nothing wrong with English people criticising English people. Actually, our taxes in a variety of ways fund open dialogue, and our taxes subsidise the tax-exemptions of charities (like Rio's).

    Finally, I think you missed the point about Post #4: many of us thought it was the best post because, whilst attempting to correct a previous post's spelling errors, Post #4 made a hilarious string of his or her own spelling errors. Now that I have parsed the joke for you, however, the joke loses, as a parsed joke is wont to do, its humour. Perhaps you ought to press the "Preview" button, to the left of "Post Comment", before you post your dissent-silencing comment.

    And, yes, Post #4 was very funny. We have a new Kingsley Amis, what?

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  • 129. At 8:37pm on 24 Apr 2009, ProfStriker wrote:

    #127: I see your point, good man. I was just having a go at Rooney's comments about hating Liverpool. I'm an Arsenal fan through and through. Let's hope the Gunners give Man U a good thrashing in the CL.

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  • 130. At 8:39pm on 24 Apr 2009, Spaced Invader wrote:

    Fantastic player, possibly the most talented defender to ever play for United. Was a huge delight to be in Moscos seeing Rio lift the CL trophy with Giggs. Like most footballers he suffers because of the jealousy many have of their lifestyles, but it strikes me that Rio puts a lot more back into helping others than 90% of people in any career.

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  • 131. At 8:43pm on 24 Apr 2009, Chris Charles wrote:

    123/125: Evening Prof. Crikey that first comment is more like a dissertation! You sound like an interesting chap and make some good points. I agree, when footballers are flashing their wads around for all to see it is rather unseemly. I've heard tales in the past of players throwing £20 notes around bars to demonstrate their opulence. I only wish I had been in them at the time.

    In Ferdinand's defence, he acknowledges the vast quantities footballers get paid these days helps to alienate them from the general public, particuarly in the current climate. But should all footballers keep their head down like Paul Scholes and never speak to the press or be spotted going out for a drink? It's when they rub people's noses in it that the trouble starts.

    As for the article itself, I'm frankly astounded that people think I'm cosying up to Rio and letting him dictate what I write. He didn't volunteer any information, merely replied to questions that I asked him. It was originally going to be a piece about United's title run-in, but once the Michael Jackson thing fell into my lap, there was only one angle to go on.

    Good idea about Gavin Strachan interviewing a fellow-footballer, maybe that's something we could look into. But in all honesty, I set up this interview and wanted to follow it through. It's been interesting posting a serious piece for once, though, and reading all the stick - I only generally come in for a gentle ribbing on Review of the Week!

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  • 132. At 9:09pm on 24 Apr 2009, JuventiniGatesy wrote:

    Chris Charles my only problem with this thread is that you refereed to Michael Jackson as the 'Prince of Pop'. Prince of Pop? No chance.

    He is the King of Pop. Prince of Pop doesn't do him justice.

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  • 133. At 9:11pm on 24 Apr 2009, Gangsta Agger wrote:

    post #4 and #73 just about killed it!

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  • 134. At 9:12pm on 24 Apr 2009, 11_Giggsy_11_dont_save_606 wrote:

    Hatred/wind ups/dislike comes in many different forms...some sly or wrapped up like a xmas present with a little bow on top to make it look well thought out but at the end of the day, just another form of hatred/dislike. One or two fine examples on here ;)

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  • 135. At 9:34pm on 24 Apr 2009, Raccers wrote:

    The most biased team pick ever. Wayne Rooney as one of Englands front 2. That mug needs to shut up. He isnt fit to lick Shearers boots yet

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  • 136. At 9:39pm on 24 Apr 2009, The_Toonster wrote:

    You must be taking the mick... Rio Ferdinand as a journalist? Are the BBC desperate? Seriously guys, you can do better.

    Be a sport Chris and don't interview this muppet again. Cheers.

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  • 137. At 11:05pm on 24 Apr 2009, TrotterUSA wrote:

    If he really wants to be successful, it might be best when Jacko calls to let it go to voice mail. There's a real "roll" model.

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  • 138. At 00:33am on 25 Apr 2009, thefrogstar wrote:

    Well Chris,
    I Rio really did use the word "derogatory" without any prompting, then I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

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  • 139. At 00:54am on 25 Apr 2009, thefrogstar wrote:

    ...and I missed out the "f" from "If Rio..."

    Happens to all of us.

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  • 140. At 01:21am on 25 Apr 2009, Crumbs wrote:

    39. At 3:00pm on 24 Apr 2009, Danshevik wrote:

    Oh dear. The real reason why he wants to interview Ginge and Winge is because they are white, (michael jackson doesnt count) even you comment on 2 players that are at the bash as being the two Cole's, id imagine reocoker and the other Ferdinand being there as well. I see a posse to rival Dr Dre's gang coming up, celebrity deathmatch methinks?

    His effort at sounding like an Average Joe is commendable, but how many people can afford to fly to the 'other side of the world (!)' to Nigeria?

    Maybe he should go to countries where the people are people oppressed and terrorised, like Sudan, Iraq and America.

    Obama And Ferdinand at a G8 summit, i can just see it now...

    ------------

    What a truly ridiculous comment to make. Not only are you making what could be seen as racist remarks, you're also incinuating that Nigeria isn't a country that oppresses and terrorises it's people. What a truly remarkable thing to say. To think Nigeria is a delightful place for children to grow up in, and that it is a country of equal opportunity and prosperity is just absurd.

    I think it's time people stopped judging footballer by their on pitch behaviour, as time and time again they prove us wrong by how they act off it. Take Craig Bellamy for instance. One could be forgiven for thinking he took the job at Man City not only to try and win more medals and honours, but to help fund his football academy schemes in under-priveleged countries around the world. And as for Rio, I feel a bit ashamed to say that I am rather surprised at this other side to him. It's far too easy to go by on-pitch behaviour, and it's seemingly impossible to see a person behind these egotistical football players, so maybe it's time we agree that what you see isn't always what you get.

    Very good read, and Rio really does come across as a top chap.

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  • 141. At 01:24am on 25 Apr 2009, Crumbs wrote:

    Slating footballers for doing charity work? Who cares if it is "fake" as you all say, at least they are in the position to do it.

    Are we really so eager to think that because someone in the position of a modern day footballer, lawyer, banker etc... decides to help others who are less fortunate than them that they are taking a liberty? I don't understand this concept. If they have the money, and want to do it, why on earth would you question that?

    Any charity work is better than no charity work, so it's disgusting that you'd incinuate it's not.

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  • 142. At 01:38am on 25 Apr 2009, eskisean wrote:

    Am i the only one who feels his homegrown 11 is incredibly biased? considering 7 of the 11 are manchester united players. and the likes of roy keane are picked before steven gerrard.

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  • 143. At 06:52am on 25 Apr 2009, zatknight wrote:

    Typical sour grapes attitudes from typical wretched fans. Looking forward to Rio's magazine. He was an absolute hit in Nigeria. For all the twisted and bitter comments on hear. Rio is set for life and laughing all the way to the bank. It never ceases to amuse me the COLLECTIVE STUPIDITY of most English fans. The begrudge world class players like Rio and others yet keep going to football matches and they come out with imbecilic statements like "oh we pay his wages". I bet most posters on here failed miserably to make it as footballers and have never gotten over it :) Where as King Rio just has to turn up and perform. Great blog Chris.

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  • 144. At 08:59am on 25 Apr 2009, Sir Jamie of Carragher, OBE, MBE, LFC wrote:

    There are around 600 professional footballers in the premiership yet you chose Rio Ferdinand for an "insightful" interview about how footballers don't fit the stereotype given to them? Couldn't you find or think of anyone more interesting to interview? Ferdinand gets enough media coverage as it is, he doesn't need anymore especially as he now has his own media outlet through his in now way stereotypical "celebrity studded online magazine dedicated to his Man Utd shirt number 'Five'". Can't wait to read those articles about "Fiddy" and "Jacko". Try someone a little less obvious and a little less dull next time.

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  • 145. At 09:05am on 25 Apr 2009, dhenry wrote:

    sorry but this a just a typical sycophantic article about a footballer who had such arrogance to miss 3 tests and has ready access to people because of his wealth and who appears to say the right things.
    He appears to be on rebuilding of his reputation phase-I'm with posts 117 and 118

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  • 146. At 09:16am on 25 Apr 2009, merrymarco wrote:

    I'm afraid I didn't see this soft side of rio when I took my two young boys to the training ground in the hope they could get his autograph. No crowds there to blame just a couple of kids that he would have seen as he raced passed in his 4x4. Every time I have taken the boys ronaldo has stopped for photos as do the other foreign boys such as evra and berbatov but alas rio, scholes and Rooney appear to have forgotten what it was like to be a young boy desperate for an autograph from his hero.

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  • 147. At 09:20am on 25 Apr 2009, redandblackT-Save 606 wrote:

    I wonder if Rio will play a prank on Michael Jackson?Something about a new nose.By the way Rio if you're looking for oppressed Africans to help out why not try a war torn region like Darfur or Sierra Leone and not a relatively safe region like Nigeria which is awash with oil money and a state(Lagos)who has a Man United mad governor.coincidence?I dont think so!

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  • 148. At 09:44am on 25 Apr 2009, tcfootiefiend wrote:

    Interesting article as Rio's private life is not often reported.
    My only hope is he has it all under control and he continues to put the effort in to keep at his best for many years. Two more world cups might be too much to ask but England will miss him more than ManU - there is no English centrehalf with anything like the talent of Jonny Evans coming through.

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  • 149. At 10:27am on 25 Apr 2009, CypriotJohn wrote:

    Private life indeed.....What I and lots of other true fans of the beautiful game would like to hear coming from the mouth of Ferdinand is the real answer to the question "Why did you miss that drugs test"??
    Most of us know why, but will he reveal all while he is still playing, or will it be featured for sales purposes in his biography when he hangs his boots up?
    Great role model for youg kids wanting to play the game eh Rio? Personally I would have given him a lifetime ban.

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  • 150. At 11:58am on 25 Apr 2009, wherewhywhen-com wrote:

    Funny how some people can't let anything go, he missed a drugs test, big deal, everyone messes up once or twice in there life, sure you have too, only difference is he is in the spotlight and you aren’t, so it makes a great story to slap it all over the media and then even when it's all been acquitted some still refuse to ever let it go. Actually same thing for loads of players, Chelsea sacking Mutu for his drug taking, where was the counselling and help that a regular person on the street could get? Juventus were quick to snap him up and rehabilitate him and give him a chance.

    Fair play to Ferdinand for all his charity work, as for the interviewing of Michael Jackson, The Royals etc would rather have a professional like Martin Bashir do this. Stick to what you are good at, playing football.

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  • 151. At 12:08pm on 25 Apr 2009, Mr Red wrote:

    two points.

    Rio's "Private Life" is sent out on a website for everyone to read about.
    secondly, a few weeks ago didn't he say Prem players have a "normal life" but then he gets a call from Michael Jackson........hang on, Bono just called me to ask what time he should come round for the roast tomorrow.

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  • 152. At 12:14pm on 25 Apr 2009, Bebe Face wrote:

    Sir Jamie of Carragher, OBE, MBE, LFC

    maybe they could interview carra and listen to that famous scouse humour as he yet again speaks through his nose instead of his mouth! Or maybe mr cliche gerrard, possibly the most boring man ever to sit on a panel of football pundits! His face on monday night was a picture. Wouldn't have missed that for the world!!

    He missed a drug test, so did a man city player, yet that was never brought up again...funny that. Lets get over it!

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  • 153. At 12:15pm on 25 Apr 2009, Bebe Face wrote:

    we could listen to carra talk through his nose?...no?...no takers?

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  • 154. At 12:40pm on 25 Apr 2009, kencharman wrote:

    The only thing noteworthy about Rio is his ability at football. His intellect and insights are at or below average. Why do we listen to celebrities... It is not good for them - they end up with a deluded view of themselves - and is even worse for society because impressionable people follow the views of half-wits. Best of luck to Rio, he has done very well for himself as a footballer - but he shouldn't be wasting column space on any other subject.

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  • 155. At 12:45pm on 25 Apr 2009, Menapian wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 156. At 12:47pm on 25 Apr 2009, Adam wrote:

    Rio is the football world's Bono.

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  • 157. At 12:48pm on 25 Apr 2009, Geoff83 wrote:

    What a load of complete nonsense. Comparing the predicament of those in Africa to ordering a pizza is insulting and this 'working class hero' rubbish he peddles is insufferable. This article only goes to show how vacuous Ferdinand really is and the insipid world the modern footballer inhabits. I do however sympathise with the Rio's point about his family- the media and fans should show more respect when they see a player not seeking attention and trying to spend time with their children. When the likes of Cashley Cole are falling out of nightclubs and vomiting on hairdressers mid-coitus they deserve everything they get. England Captain? You must be joking

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  • 158. At 1:00pm on 25 Apr 2009, unclejnr wrote:

    Footballer, humanitarian, rapper, comedian. There is nothing this guy can't do! But there's still work to do Rio. We still need to de-grease poor Ronaldo, Rooney still has to live with that face, and Gary Neville, well.

    So spare a thought for those less fortunate than yourself.

    Well done Snoop. Sorry, Rio.

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  • 159. At 1:08pm on 25 Apr 2009, Sir Jamie of Carragher, OBE, MBE, LFC wrote:

    Scholesy - gets up etc. Two things:

    One. I didn't recommend anyone specific for an interview, just one of the 600 players who doesn't get the media attention that Ferdinand does. LIke I said, he gets enough attention, he doesn't need anymore. Especially when the interview is as dull as this one. As one of my many Man Utd supporting friends said to me about Ferdinand, he epitomizes everything that is wrong about football today and he is definitely not a role model. And as far as Jamie Carragher is concerned, he doesn't need to bang on about his good work for charidee or produce some completely banal and uninteresting on line magazine that means absolutely nothing to the people that put him in the position he is now, i.e. the fans. All LIverpool fans know what he does for his club, fans and his city. And its a hell of a lot more than Ferdinand. Gerrard is dull as well, woooo hoooo. Tell me news not history.

    Two. I never mentioned his missed drug test, but now that you do, here's my opinion. He should have got hammered a hell lot a more than he did in the same way other professional athletes have for the same. If a city player missed a test he should get the same treatment, as should all footballers, including Jamie Carragher. Thats assuming he is as thick as ferdinand and would actually miss a mandatory drugs test.

    Open your eyes son. The world doesn't revolve around Utd.

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  • 160. At 1:20pm on 25 Apr 2009, UnitedRoad83 wrote:

    Rio has been fantastic this season, possibly his best season in a United shirt (or any shirt). Vidic has got alot of praise, but Ferdinand is the talker and along with Neville they guide the players around them. Hopefully we'll get a few more years of this sort of quality out of him. Keep it up Rio! Top class.

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  • 161. At 1:23pm on 25 Apr 2009, Bebe Face wrote:

    I know the world doesn't revolve around united, just as it doesn't revolve around Liverpool either.

    It just amuses me that liverpool fans are using this as a cheap point scoring exercise against united as per usual. If it was Stevie G doing this then the liverpool fans would think it was the best thing since sliced bread.

    I know rio aint the brightest, the bloke even stated that ryan giggs had "stepped up and taken the mantle piece" when appointed United captain. That in itself should have meant he was never allowed near the media again!

    As for missing the drug test, yeah its bad, but he got a ban - which is much more than footballers get for kicking the daylights outta of people in bars and on the streets - which in my book is a worse crime!

    I know carragher does a lot for liverpool as a city, i know liverpool season ticket holders who tell me this. But people like Scholes also do a lot of charity work for manchester but like to keep it quiet as is his way.

    I just can't help feel that if this way someone like a fulham or west ham player doing it then the lfc fans wouldn't even commented.

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  • 162. At 2:01pm on 25 Apr 2009, Sir Jamie of Carragher, OBE, MBE, LFC wrote:

    Scholesy etc. You're missing the point. Do we really need another interview with Rio Ferdinand? No. Do we need to know the interview took place in private members bar with champagne flowing? No. Do we need to know Ferdinand has launched his own celebrity studded magazine? No. Do we need to know that Michael Jackson called him? Who cares. Really, who actually cares. Celebrity obsessed BBC journalists obviously. I'd have the same opinion if it were Gerrard, Terry, Rooney, Cole in this interview.

    As I said, there are over 600 professionals in the premiership and they don't all play for Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal. It would be nice if at this stage of the season, instead of having an interview with someone who is in the papers and on sky sports news everyday, that someone less obvious was interviewed. And yes, a player from West Ham or Fulham would have been much better and much more interesting than this.

    But you seem to be Utd obsessed and think that any criticism of this article is aimed at Utd. How conceited and narrow minded. Its not, its aimed at lazy journalism which is what this article is.

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  • 163. At 2:03pm on 25 Apr 2009, welshdevil90 wrote:

    sneakyprice07:

    spot on! why are many people criticising Rio? He's doing things for charity, down to earth and is honest!! and poeple are putting him down? Should he apologise for using his fame to help others? or stop completely? the pizza quote: so what, it shows hes human. im guessing many snipers on here just hate man utd, cant think why else anyone would have a go at him for trying to help...

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  • 164. At 2:21pm on 25 Apr 2009, Bebe Face wrote:

    Sir Jamie

    I am utd obsessed - that is true lol. But not in a bad way!

    fair enough mate. you make a good point. It would be nice to hear from the likes of players from Stockport or macclesfield on their lives as i feel more of us on here could relate to that.

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  • 165. At 2:55pm on 25 Apr 2009, zatknight wrote:

    Its not about hating man utd, many sad,deluded bigots on here just hate Rio. How can you hate someone you have never spent time with, he missed a drug test, big deal ( checked with my cousin who is a barrister that handles sports related cases ).Its not a criminal offence within English law. I will have more respect for people who missed drug tests than night club bullies like Gerrard and England Captain John Terry. But I look at these guys and whilst the latter two are not my favorite players, I respect thier talent and if they have committed any misdemenours. My belief is once you have done your time, its over a new beginning.

    Also what gives you so called terrace fans the right to wish and dictate that a footballer or any person can not aspire to do as many or completely different things. Its no wonder foreigners like coming to Britain. The average British man and woman lacks ambition and are happy to do the same thing for 25-30 years and resents people who work hard and take risks in looking to better their lives, the credit crunch in your country should serve as a warning that you. Rio is rich and famous due to his own hardwork and self belief and NOT BY FANS as someone stated earlier who I can only assume had one too many. The BBC has the right to publish what they deem might interest people. So to the snipers next time stay away, because it defintely looks like Rio has got under your skins. Get over your hatred for him and you will find you have peace.

    P.S. I am an Arsenal so whilst I admire Rio as a person and footballer, I hope he has a stinker against us in the CL semi final.

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  • 166. At 5:37pm on 25 Apr 2009, Villan wrote:

    what a man!!!!............great bloke is michael jackson :P

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  • 167. At 7:44pm on 25 Apr 2009, SadCreweFan wrote:

    I have to agree with Rio about it being annoying when a pizza is delivered with the wrong topping.

    My usual response is to hurl it at Sir Alex Fergusson.

    Love

    Cesc

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  • 168. At 7:48pm on 25 Apr 2009, kellsborojack wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 169. At 8:35pm on 25 Apr 2009, Sean wrote:

    'It's noticeable that Ashley spends the whole evening surrounded by male friends, just in case someone is lurking with one of those pesky camera phones.'... *snigger*. Ashley and his mobile phones!

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  • 170. At 06:51am on 26 Apr 2009, Skill_7 wrote:

    What a wisdom

    "How fortunate we are to be in the position, when you go abroad and see the way people live on the other side of the world"

    Thanks God

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  • 171. At 1:51pm on 26 Apr 2009, CypriotJohn wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 172. At 2:46pm on 26 Apr 2009, Reddeviltunde wrote:

    sirCantona_legend.
    (See #75)
    Sorry to be the small man; but grammer has never been a word aswell(sic)

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  • 173. At 12:34pm on 27 Apr 2009, Dwaine Benzie wrote:

    Rio seems like a genuinely nice fella, who enjoys spending his free time perusing his interests and passions. All these bitter WUMs who are ridiculing him should take a look at themselves – nothing better to do than take cheap shots at someone who is willing to put himself out there. Sad cases.

    Rio – a legend.

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  • 174. At 3:39pm on 27 Apr 2009, 9jajuleswinfield wrote:

    Nigeria could be on the other side of the world from England tho its just 6 hours by air, Nigeria's govt does not oppress its people, it just doesn't care about them.

    The English are too hard to please, Rio's not perfect, give him a break, He's a Lagos chief, he could have some of you thrown in a Lagos jail, how would get your pizza then???

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  • 175. At 11:28pm on 27 Apr 2009, call_me_Sir wrote:

    Best centre-half in Europe? Its gotta be Tight-arse Bramble. I hear he's going to be hosting his own cookery show on UK Food, featuring the ever-reliable former Newcastle 'hero' cooking his own brand of meat-substituted pies, whilst interviewing a whole host of Z-rated celebrities, including ex-Big Brother contestants and BBC Sport bloggers. Now I'd watch that.

    Actually, what's Rio's website again...?

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  • 176. At 11:53am on 28 Apr 2009, ThomThomTiger wrote:

    I have to admit, much as a nice guy he comes across in this article, the guy is still in idiot, for so many reasons.

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  • 177. At 09:53am on 09 May 2009, mosescruise wrote:

    anyway pray am in govt all this shit gonna stop.. LONG LIVE NIGERIA AND NIGERIANS

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  • 178. At 10:31am on 09 May 2009, mosescruise wrote:

    Am a Nigerian and a proud one.. Micheal Jackson, Jay Z, Beyonce all given titles guess will soon give Walcott, Rapheal da silva and Djourou titles too.. what a disgrace..

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  • 179. At 2:38pm on 18 May 2009, U13967209 wrote:

    wow~
    wow~
    God bless you
    http://www.nowgoal.com/30.shtml

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