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.
Predictably, cynics outside Old Trafford dismissed the veteran after he was omitted from England's Euro 2012 squad, but in hindsight they could not have been more wrong following yet another classy campaign in which the title was reclaimed from Manchester City in 2012/13.
Notably, Ferdinand's form warranted a place in the PFA Team of the Year and, after five years without scoring, he even managed to net the winner in Sir Alex's final home match as manager against Swansea.
"Winning can't get boring," Rio said after United sealed the championship with victory over Aston Villa in April 2013. "It's always sweet