Sancho meets Ferdinand: Read the full interview

Friday 13 August 2021 12:45

Manchester United legend and BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand has conducted an in-depth interview with our new signing Jadon Sancho, ahead of Saturday's Premier League opener against Leeds.

This weekend's much-anticipated match at Old Trafford will be broadcast live in the UK on BT Sport and, as part of their coverage, they set up an unmissable Q&A between the two south Londoners. 

Speaking via a video link from Carrington, Sancho opens up about his transfer to Borussia Dortmund and provides an insight into what Reds supporters can expect from him. 

The England international also speaks passionately about street football and declares he is ready to play on Saturday, if selected by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 

Read the interview in full, or watch the video, below...

Jadon, I know it had taken a long time to get to this point, so how does it feel to finally be a Man United player?
“It feels nice, definitely. I’ve been waiting for a long time for this move. I’m just glad it’s over now and I can get ready to start the season against Leeds. I’m buzzing.”

Must-watch: Jadon Sancho x Rio Ferdinand Video

Must-watch: Jadon Sancho x Rio Ferdinand

Watch Rio Ferdinand's full interview with Jadon Sancho for BT Sport, ahead of their live broadcast on Saturday...

What does Jadon Sancho bring to Manchester United, what can the fans expect?
“Goals, assists, a bit of flair and definitely eager to win. That’s one of my things I’ve always done. I’m always trying to help the team to win. I love winning, that’s my mentality and hopefully I can you know win a few games for Man United, if it’s a close game and things like that. I’m looking forward to it.”

I love that – is that something you think about even in training? I remember Ronaldo, when he was at United, he went from being a flair player to producing big numbers.  Then big moments came up and, in training games, he would score the winner…
“Definitely. I can see that in a few of the players, like Bruno. Today we were on the same team and we just linked up really well. Me and him love winning so I’m glad me and Bruno have the same mindset because it’s needed, especially in a big team like this. If you want to win things, you have to learn how to win in training and matches. It’s important.”
When you were waiting for the deal to go through, who were the players you were excited to work with?
“There’s a lot of players. The whole team itself: it’s a great squad. Speaking to Luke and H and Marcus while we were away at the Euros, they were just telling us they were a great bunch of lads. I’ve watched some of the games last season. The attack is very good and to be a part of that now is just going to be crazy. I see what Bruno is doing, Marcus, Greenwood and Cavani, so to be a part of that and add more goals and assists to that is going to be exciting.”

This has been an ongoing transfer – so did you always see yourself becoming a United player?
“To be fair, when I was in Germany I was just focused on my own football. I wasn’t really thinking about other clubs because me and my team, Dortmund at the time, we had objectives to finish and I was going to make sure we finished those objectives. I’m happy we got the Champions League qualification and winning the Pokal [German Cup] because Dortmund haven’t won the Pokal in quite a long time so it was kind of a big thing for them. I’m happy to score in the final and definitely assist Haaland for the fourth goal.”
Let’s look at your journey to get here: just talk to me about the importance of south London and the influence that had on the player you are…
“I grew up in south-east London, Kennington. I was on a council estate, Guinness Trust Buildings, and when I was younger all the older boys used to just play football on the estate. Because I was younger, they didn’t want to put me in because it was kind of rough. We played something called Nutmeg Rush. You might know it Rio. If you nutmeg someone, you just rush them. It was so funny. When I got older they introduced me and I started playing. We used to go to the cage a lot. We had a thing called FA. Two teams and if you scored one goal you’re off. More of it was you’re trying to nutmeg people, so everyone’s laughing and things like that. At them ages it was just fun. Even in school, school tournaments playing for your borough. Things like that were enjoyable.”

That’s the element I can’t wait for people to see, you are one of a few players in football who has brought that street football to stadiums. Is that something you want to keep doing?
“Definitely. I don’t want to change my football at all. If I keep improving in training and working on individual things I can improve my game on I think I will just keep elevating as a player and a person. If I keep doing that I’m sure I’ll do well and go far for the team.”
You made a massive decision and it was a brave move to go from City to Germany as a young kid. What did that teach you, what are the key things you learned out there?
“I remember making that decision and obviously I was very scared. I left home from Watford to come to Manchester and then from Manchester to go abroad again, it’s a whole different level because I’m leaving my family behind. It’s not like they can just come up and see me. It was kind of playing on my mind the first year but after that I needed to take my moment, especially when I get my opportunity. I kept my head down and a lot of people doubted the move. It was very rare for a young player to go abroad. I had a lot of doubters and one of the main things was to prove the doubters wrong. I’m happy I’ve done that and I’ve done well ever since. I’ve just got to keep on improving my game and elevating.”

In the summer you played in the Euros with England had some fantastic moments. Fast forward and Leeds at the weekend. How fit are you, are you ready for the weekend?
“I feel ready. Today in training I felt sharp and hopefully I can get introduced to the game on Saturday.”
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My last question is one we’ve been watching unfold: Messi to PSG – what does that mean for you?
“I use that for motivation. PSG are a great side. They’ve got players like Mbappe, Neymar and Messi so you know as a young player I’m looking at that and it means I’ve got to step up my game and show the world – I’m not at that level yet but I can get to that level. It’s good competition and every young player should try for big games like that. If we did ever face them in the Champions League I’d be buzzing and ready to go. They’ve got a great side, definitely.”

Thanks to our friends at BT Sport for sharing this interview. Fans in the UK can watch United v Leeds on the channel from 12:30 BST on Saturday.