Former Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand has revealed he snubbed lucrative deals in warmer climes in order to join Premier League minnow side QPR, saying these days he is driven by love, not money.
The 35-year-old defender has enjoyed almost two decades of success playing in football’s tip tier and at international level.
Ferdinand played well in excess of 300 games for Man United under legendary ex-boss Sir Alex Ferguson, winning the Premier League title six times and the UEFA Champions League once.
With 81 caps for the England national team he is placed 15th on the ‘highest-capped England players in history’ list, ahead of Chelsea captain John Terry (78 caps), who played with the ex-Red Devil in England’s back-four prior them retiring in 2011 (Ferdinand) and 2012 (Terry).
Following years of astronomical glory with Man United – which took a turn for the worse on Ferguson’s retirement last summer – he has packed in the mega-money lifestyle to join Harry Redknapp’s QPR who only a few months ago, were a Championship side.
With Ferdinand still deemed a top quality player and with a wealth of experience to offer, he is believed to have been inundated with offers but turned down several big-money proposals to head ‘home’ to Loftus Road.
Ferdinand told QPR’s official website that the main draw for him was a sentimental connection he has – QPR were the first club to sign him as a schoolboy, prior to him moving to West Ham’s youth academy in 1992.
He said: “QPR was the first professional club to ever sign me. There are great memories for me here and for my family.
“I had a lot of offers from all over the world. Some in places with a better climate than here. But the draw for me was to play in the Premier League and back here where it all started.
The ex-Red Devil believes money is not the be-all and end-all and that at this twilight stage in his career, what matters to him most is playing somewhere he and his family feel at home along with being able to make a difference to a club that means a lot to him.
“It’s not about money,” he said, “I had loads of more lucrative offers available to me.
“I still feel I’ve got something to offer and I’m excited about helping this club cement its place in the Premier League.”