Rio - He's bigger than me!

Even England skipper is in awe of his old mate

Last updated: 2nd April 2010  

He's probably the biggest sporting icon in Britain.

Rio Ferdinand on David Haye
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David Haye is bigger than the England football captain, according to the man himself.

Rio Ferdinand believes the world heavyweight champion is the nation's biggest sporting icon, putting him ahead of footballers, rugby players, athletes and cricketers alike.

Ferdinand grew up with Haye in South London and was re-united with his old mate for a special shoot for Hayemaker magazine, in which they traded places for the day.

And the England skipper admitted that even he is in awe of his old mate.

"He's probably the biggest sporting icon in Britain," he said.

"I'd say the world heavyweight championship is probably the biggest thing in sport.

"He's young, he's fast, he's flashy, he's someone you want to watch. He's someone with that talent and he's putting it all into practice. He's doing well."

Ferdinand is likely to be among a host of footballers from Manchester United and Chelsea at Haye's world title fight with John Ruiz on Saturday, hours after arguably the biggest Premier League game of the season.

But first, the pair teamed up for the first edition of Hayemaker magazine, a 192-page, glossy magazine, initially planned as the fight programme for his first world-title defence against John Ruiz.

The magazine also features Amir Khan, Carl Froch, Danny Cipriani, Linford Christie and follows Haye on his recent trip to parade his world title belt in Senegal.

It is on sale now at