Former England and Man United centre back, Rio Ferdinand is worth £55 million, according to Forbes. Rio is extremely wealthy because he was one of his generations most talented and successful footballers.
South London born and raised, he is part of a famous football family. His brother
Anton had a decent career and his cousin Les was a dangerous striker. As a youngster, he
attracted plenty of attention, with his youth coach Dave Goodwin giving him the nickname “Pele”. He trained with Queens Park Rangers, Millwall, Charlton and Chelsea before signing up with West Ham United. Before he committed to football though he famously trained as a ballet dancer, something he credits with improving his flexibility and balance, two crucial
aspects of defending.
At West Ham, he served his apprenticeship in an academy which also produced Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Michael Carrick. Harry Redknapp was fully prepared to back his young talents, putting them into the first team as soon as they were ready. Thus, at just 19 years old, Ferdinand had become a regular and was included in the 1998 World Cup squad.
Ferdinand himself is the first to admit that he was happy to seize upon the opportunities for distraction that presented themselves to the young footballer who had never really had any money before. He had a well-earned reputation for enjoying the fruits of his labour off the pitch. Rio was never one afraid to spend his wages on fancy cars or a mansion.
Then came the moment which changed the direction of his career for the better – an £18 million move to Leeds United in 2000. By the time the 2002 World Cup came around, he had made himself a key part of Leeds United, reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League. Leeds financial mismanagement caught up with them and Sir Alex Ferguson pounced. Ferdinand signed for £30 million and was made the clubs highest-paid player. The rest was history, between 2002 and 2014 he played 455 times for the Red Devils. He won six Premier League titles, two League Cups, a Champions League and the FIFA World Club Cup.
He won his first Premier League title in his first season but what followed was this toughest time at the club. He was banned for eight months following a missed drugs test and Sir Alex always maintained the punishment was incredibly harsh. He returned the following season to make the Premier League team of the year for the second time. In 2006, Ferguson signed Nemanja Vidić who together formed an excellent partnership. Ferdinand specialized in partnerships, making whoever played alongside him look better thanks to his brilliant organization and communication skills.
He had his best season in 2007/2008, as United won the league and Champions League double. Alan Hansen said, “this season all the plaudits have gone to Cristiano Ronaldo but when the going has been tough Ferdinand has performed better than anyone”. He turned 30 during the subsequent campaign and so Alex started to protect him rotating him and calling on him when he really needed his brilliance. When Moyes arrived his game time became more limited after a number of injuries. Eventually, he left Manchester and moved to Queens Park Rangers.
He retired from football after his wife Rebecca Ellison passed away on May 2015, from cancer. Since retiring, Ferdinand has worked in football media, becoming a pundit for BT Sports. BT Sports is competing against rivals such as Sky and have no problem paying him millions of pounds per year. It’s not like Rio needs the money because he already has a breathtaking net worth!