Rio Ferdinand names Wayne Rooney as his worst-ever team-mate

Rio Ferdinand names Wayne Rooney as his worst ever team-mate in BBC podcast… as the former Man United man reveals the pair used to ‘argue once every two or three games’ because he ‘wanted forward to be a top striker’

  • Ferdinand and Rooney played together for 10 years in a successful era at United
  • The former defender suggested the arguments were held with good intentions
  • Back off Erik ten Hag! Insipid Man United performances are on the players – not the manager – Listen to why on It’s All Kicking Off

Rio Ferdinand has branded Wayne Rooney his worst-ever team-mate in a new podcast.

Ferdinand and Rooney enjoyed years of success together at United, winning a number of trophies from Premier Leagues to Champions Leagues.

United’s form has dipped incredibly since, but the era of the pair playing together from 2004-2014 will be remembered as one of the club’s best under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson.

So it may surprise many for Ferdinand to have named Rooney as his worst-ever team-mate, as he explained how the pair used to argue repeatedly on the pitch during matches.

In the latest episode of BBC podcast, hosted by Rugby League legend Rob Burrow, who lives with motor neurone disease and asks guests seven questions using his eye-gaze machine, Ferdinand explained how his desire for Rooney to be a better player fuelled the arguments. 

Rio Ferdinand (pictured) has named Wayne Rooney as his worst-ever team-mate in football

Ferdinand was speaking on Rob Burrow’s SEVEN podcast, which sees the Rugby League legend (right) asks guests seven questions using his eye-gaze machine

Rooney (left) and Ferdinand played together for United for a decade, enjoying plenty of success at the club

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‘The worst team-mate I probably had the most arguments with Wayne Rooney to be honest with you. Never came to blows, it was on the pitch,’ Ferdinand said. ‘We never argued in training really, it was just match day, we probably argued once every two or three games, effing and blinding, screaming at each other because I wanted more from him.

‘I knew what he was good at and I knew he could do more. I’d want him to be more effective or something.

‘The biggest thing for me with Wayne is he wanted to play 30 or 40 yard passes like Paul Scholes, and he could do it, he was that good. I wanted him to score 30 or 40 goals a season, because he could. 

‘We played one season and he scored 30-something goals and he wasn’t happy because he wasn’t getting involved in the game and dictating it, he was having to play high. And I couldn’t get my head around it. That’s the top striker, I want you to be that because I know you can be that. 

‘But he loved football that much he wanted to play football like he was playing in the park, and we used to argue, I’d tell him to shoot and he’d scream back at me. But they were good arguments.’

Ferdinand said the arguments were held with good intentions and that he wanted Rooney to be better as a player


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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Rooney enjoyed an incredibly successful playing career, finishing it as United’s all-time leading goal scorer with 253 goals for the side before he re-joined boyhood club Everton.

He also captained his country, England, on a permanent basis and retired their all-time leading scorer, but was recently overtaken by current skipper Harry Kane.

Later on in his career he dropped into a midfield role, playing there during England’s infamous Euro 2016 failure that saw Roy Hodgson sacked.

He went onto play for DC United and Derby County before hanging up his boots and taking up coaching, and is currently in charge of Birmingham City in the Championship. 

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