Rio Ferdinand says he owes it all to 'genius' former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The former Manchester United defender has called time on his 18-year, trophy-laden career.

Rio Ferdinand paid an emotional tribute to mentor Sir Alex Ferguson as he hung up his boots after 18 years.

The former West Ham, Leeds, Manchester United and England defender spent last season at relegated QPR.

He missed the end of the campaign to look after his wife, Rebecca Ellison, who died of cancer on May 1.

Ferdinand, 36, thanked his former managers, team-mates and supporters but reserved special praise for Ferguson, his boss during a trophy-laden 12-year spell at United.

He said: “Nothing would have been possible without the genius of one man – Sir Alex. He developed us as men, not just footballers.”

Ferdinand said it was the "right time" to retire in a statement issued on Saturday.

He was one of six players released by QPR following the West London cub's relegation from the Premier League, having left Old Trafford in 2014.

Another QPR defender, Richard Dunne, has also retired.

Source: Daily Mirror

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