The Utd Arena

Manchester United Fan Community – For & By the Fans

Rio Ferdinand reveals he almost joined Barcelona

rio ferdindnand on United's transfer

United Legend Rio Ferdinand, recently revealed that he came close to signing for Spanish Giants Barcelona back in 2008.

Rio joined United back in 2002, for a then-record fee of £30 Mil, becoming the most expensive British player at that time. While he also became the most expensive defender in the world for the second time.

sir alex rio ferdinand
Rio won 6 Premier League titles with United

United signed the Englishman from rivals, Leeds United, and since then he has gone on to win loads for trophies for the club. He is also considered one of the Best center-backs United have ever seen.

Rio went onto play for United until 2013-14 season, but that stint would have cut short along time ago.

Speaking to BT Sport, Rio revealed he came very close to signing for Barcelona after the 2008 Champions League Semi-finals.

Rio was approached by then Barcelona Manager Frank Rijkaard in the tunnel.

And even though Rio wasn’t thinking about the move just yet, Rijkaard had made his intentions clear.

rio ferdinand v barcelona
Rio was phenomenal in the match against Barcelona

Rio did have plans to play abroad as well, but he had kept a condition on himself before doing so. He wouldn’t go if was successful in his home turf.

And that’s what had happened. United back in 2008 were a force to reckon with. Rio was already a part of a very successful team. And he knew it as well.

United defeated Barcelona in Semi-finals and went onto win the Champions League.

Speaking of Barcelona, they were going under a major shift as well. In 2008, the Barcelona team was going into a transition phase under the new leadership of the Dutch Legend, Frank Rijkaard. And the Barcelona that we all know today, the one filled with Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, was still under development.

As Rio says:

Had, they already been a core part of the team already and in their primes, maybe the footballing would have been very different today.

Rio, stayed at United and went onto win 3 League titles and 2 FA cups post 2008. And edged his name in United’s hall of fame forever.

Checkout ongoing series here :

Youth WatchOut – A look into the promising young players in our academy.

Tactical Masterclass – Tactical analysis of our first-team players.

MUWomen – A look into Manchester United’s Women team players.

Follow us on our social media platforms and become a part of The Utd Arena community.

Facebook || Instagram || Twitter

All three platforms cover different content so that you don’t see the same thing everywhere!