Ferdinand Reveals He Almost Joined Barcelona From Man United
Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he nearly joined Barcelona from Manchester United in the summer of 2008.
Ferdinand established himself as one of the best central defenders in Europe during his 12 years as a Manchester United player.
The former England international won six Premier League titles at Old Trafford as well as the 2008 UEFA Champions League among numerous honours.
Ferdinand however could have secured a switch to the Camp Nou in the summer of 2008 when he was approached by then Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard after a Champions League game in Spain.
When asked about his links to Barcelona on BT Sport, Ferdinand said: "It came close. There were discussions with my agent, Barca had touched base. I'd spoken to Rijkaard, not about going there but he made his feelings known.
"It was actually after the game in Barcelona where we drew 0-0, in the tunnel after the game I spoke to him.
"The problem with me going abroad, I always said I definitely wanted to go abroad and play, but the only thing that would ever have stopped me was if I was successful on home shores and I was lucky and fortunate to find a great club in Manchester United where it was going to be almost impossible for me to leave.
"We beat them and went on to become European champions, so why would I leave the European champions to go to another team in transition.
"At that point Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, they weren't the players they were three or four years later so it was a very different landscape at that time in Barcelona."
Ferdinand lost two Champions League finals to Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 after snubbing their advances.