Rio Ferdinand Opens Up on Former Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson Calling Arch-Rivals ‘Babies’

Sir Alex Ferguson

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand recently opened up on what former manager Sir Alex Ferguson called their arch-rivals Arsenal and Liverpool in team meetings

Arsenal and Liverpool have a storied rivalry with The Red Devils. During Ferguson’s time at Old Trafford, the rivalry took a heated turn as United surpassed the Merseyside club’s tally of 18 league titles. Arsenal also enjoyed sensational performances under French manager Arsene Wenger as they went undefeated in the 2003/04 season in the league, eventually stretching to 49 games. Their streak was eventually ended by Sir Alex and United.

Sir Alex Ferguson Had a Unique Way of Tackling Pre-Match Team Talks

Rio Ferdinand on What Sir Alex Said About Arsenal

During his 26-year reign at Old Trafford, Ferguson arguably faced the most competition from Arsene Wenger. Although Ferguson got the better of the French manager on most occasions, their touchline antics and bitterness during press conferences made the rivalry even more enticing. 

During a recent interview with William Hill’s Stripped podcast, Rio Ferdinand opened up on what the Scottish manager said about Arsenal during their pre-match talks:

“Something Sir Alex Ferguson used to say about Arsenal during his team talks was, ‘Get in their faces. They don’t like it, they can’t deal with it. They’re babies. Get right up against them, and you’ll win this game. Rio, you’ll overrun them, you’ll overpower them…”

Ferguson also had some choice words for Liverpool. The former United manager had once famously said when he joined the Old Trafford outfit that his job was to knock Liverpool “off their perch.” At the time, the Merseyside club had already won 16 league titles and was considered one of the greatest clubs in history.

However, all that changed when Ferguson arrived. The legendary manager went on to win 13 titles during his time at Old Trafford as Manchester United eventually surpassed Liverpool with their league titles tally.

Speaking on the same episode of the podcast, Ferdinand revealed what Ferguson had once stated about Liverpool. Ahead of the game against the arch-rivals, the former English defender had this to say:

“The most iconic team talk Sir Alex Ferguson ever gave at Manchester United was when we played Liverpool at Anfield once, and he just said, ‘I don’t even need to talk to you, really. It’s the worst Liverpool team I’ve ever seen on a team sheet’. That was it. And then yeah, we won that day.” 

How Did Alex Ferguson Fare at Manchester United?

Ferguson is considered by many to be the greatest manager of all time, and this claim is not without merit. The legendary manager was at the touchline in 1500 matches at The Theater of Dreams. His Red Devils team also holds the accolade of being the only British side to win the coveted treble (league title, UEFA Champions League, and FA Cup). 

After a 26-year reign at the club, Ferguson retired in 2013. The Scotsman oversaw 13 league title wins, two champions league titles, and five FA Cup wins. At the end of his illustrious career, Ferguson won 37 championships and held an overall win percentage of 59.67.

Rio Ferdinand’s latest comments on his former manager are, therefore, something that fits Sir Alex’s personality well, as he was well known for being upfront with his players and hated to lose.


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