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Man United legend opens up on that night against Chelsea in 2008 – explains the importance



Rio Ferdinand reveals why beating Chelsea in 2008 was so important

The 2007-2008 campaign was one to remember for Manchester United. The club won their third European crown and their second under Sir Alex Ferguson.

For a club that had dominated the domestic circuit for two decades, United could never really transcend that success to the continent on a consistent basis.

The result was a special one for many players, including Rio Ferdinand. Speaking to BT Sport (h/t Express) revealed that playing against a fellow English side made the win even more special.

“That added pressure to me definitely because I was playing against friends, international friends, friends I’d grown up with”

Rio Ferdinand won his solo European crown in 2008
Rio Ferdinand won his solo European crown in 2008

Ferdinand went on to admit that it was a closely contested match with bragging rights up for grabs given their domestic rivalry.

A potentially unbearable loss!

Had we lost that night, we would have had to endure the agony of being reminded about it every time we played them in the Premier League or the domestic cups.

Considering Ferdinand moved to live in London, United coming away as the victors that night will have helped him ease into his new surroundings.

He also went on to reveal that he would have sat out of the England vs USA tie the next week had United lost the final. Ferdinand would have found it unbearable to play alongside Chelsea players such as John Terry and Frank Lampard had we lost.

“The feeling of having to turn up with England after that game, being on the losing side, would have been torturous, would have been horrendous. “

John Terry could have been the hero for Chelsea
Terry’s miss gave United hope

He also went on to add that the United players did not rub the loss into the Chelsea players and showed humility in victory.

The match was closely fought and ended 1-1 after extra time. Chelsea skipper John Terry and Nicolas Anelka both missed their penalties to ensure United came away with the spoils.

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The victory brought things to a full circle for Ferdinand. He was a part of the Leeds United side that made it all the way to the semi-finals in 2001. Seven years on, he would indeed go on to lift the trophy.