He was well respected as a player at club and international level, and in large part Rio Ferdinand has gone on to be one of the country’s foremost football pundits.
The former West Ham, Leeds United and Manchester United centre-back not only played a good game, but he talks it too.
However, as an analyst, he would be the first to accept that his opinion is just that, nothing more, and occasionally he’s going to rile a set of fans or two.
Over the course of this week, Newcastle United’s long-suffering supporters have slammed him for what they perceive as hypocrisy.
Ferdinand has been forthright in his condemnation of Manchester United’s owners and the way in which they’ve run the club, more so this week with the Super League fiasco.
As the Toon Army reminded him on Twitter, however, he was a little more conciliatory when talking about Mike Ashley’s role at Newcastle, perhaps because Ashley’s Sports Direct stores exclusively sell his FIVE brand.