FOOTBALL NEWS

"What I am about to say may help describe him better as a player: I feel so fortunate to have played with him rather than against him."

- Cristiano Ronaldo

09/08/2013 19:00, Report by Adam Marshall

Ronaldo pays tribute

Cristiano Ronaldo has paid a special tribute to former team-mate Rio Ferdinand in an exclusive interview with the official matchday programme for the defender's testimonial against Sevilla.

The centre-back celebrates over a decade at Old Trafford with the friendly against the Spanish side and Ronaldo has some kind words for a player who helped him develop into a world-class star during his time in Manchester.

"10 years have gone by since I signed for United and today, as a Real Madrid player, I want to talk about one of the greatest players that Old Trafford and the world of football have witnessed," stated Ronaldo. "My friend Rio.

"For me, it's an incredible honour to be able to pay tribute to one of the best defenders of all time on such an important night. His football and personality, inside and outside the pitch, were fundamental, not only in the development of the team, but also in all of us that had the opportunity to share great memories and football moments with him.

"What I am about to say may help describe him better as a player: I feel so fortunate to have played with him rather than against him.

"Today, I wish for all the fans to enjoy a memorable occasion and to take this opportunity to pay tribute to one of the most memorable players that has worn United's jersey."

More: Moyes eager to get startedThe brilliance of Beckham | O'Shea: My mate Rio

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