justified his tag as a world-class defender, providing the silk to United's defensive steel while chipping in with occasional valuable goals.
In May 2008, Ferdinand signed a new five-year contract to keep him at Old Trafford until 2013. Six days later, he would help United seal UEFA Champions League glory in Moscow; a fitting way to end a near flawless season for the centre-back.
His good form continued into the 2008/09 campaign, playing a crucial role in United's record-breaking clean-sheet run. Certainly, without his consistency at the back, the Reds may not have gone on to win another league title.
Unfortunately, injuries hampered Rio's 2009/10 campaign and the defender made just 12 starts in the league. He fared slightly better in 2010/11, starting half of United's 38 league fixtures as the Reds marched towards a record-breaking 19th title.
There was further improvement in 2011/12, when Ferdinand was a near ever-present in the back four. Although the campaign yielded no major trophies, the centre-back made 38 appearances and his invaluable experience helped United take the title fight down to the final day.