Rio Ferdinand has announced his retirement from football after being released by Queens Park Rangers.
The defender confirmed to BT sport he would be hanging up his boots after 18 years, stating that it is the right time for me to retire from the game that I love’.
News of Ferdinand’s retirement sparked a frenzy of adulation for the ex-England captain on social media.
Widespread tribute on Twitter came from former clubs and team0mates:
Congratulations to @rioferdy5 on his great career. Best I played with and best pairings I've seen with Vida/JT. Covered me very well too!
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) May 30, 2015
Rio Ferdinand has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 36. pic.twitter.com/QwnT1u4VYW
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 30, 2015
Rio Ferdinand retires. Another of English football's modern greats. As well as a great club career, he even excelled in a World Cup (2002)
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) May 30, 2015
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) May 30, 2015
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 30, 2015
Rio Ferdinand confirms his retirement live on BT Sport. What a player he was, absolute Rolls Royce. http://t.co/v4l9H6HbMd
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) May 30, 2015
— Philip Neville (@fizzer18) May 30, 2015
With 504 Premier League appearances and 19 honours under his belt, Ferdinand can be rightly regarded as a coveted veteran of English football and a Manchester United legend.
His retirement didn’t come as a surprise following a difficult season at QPR, where the 36 year old struggled to hold down a place in a side that destined for relegation.
It is a real testament to Ferdinand’s brilliance that so much attention has centred around the ex-Man United defender on one of the biggest days in the national football calendar, with the FA Cup final taking place on the same day as his retirement was announced.
Forming an indomitable partnership with Nemanja Vidic, Ferdinand played a vital part in the United’s title successes. The football world wishes him all the best for the future.