Premier League: Ex-England and Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand plans to retire

Image: Rio Ferdinand: Set for end of season retirement

Former Manchester United and England captain Rio Ferdinand has stated his intention to retire from professional football at the end of the season.

The QPR defender, who will celebrate his 36th birthday on November 7, told Jonathan Ross in an interview that will be broadcast on Saturday evening that he expects to hang up his boots at the end of the season.

"I probably think the end of this season," Ferdinand told The Jonathan Ross Show when asked about retirement.

"I'm not fearful of retirement, I'm looking forward to it, I can see some good stuff hopefully happening ahead.

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"You get to a time where you start understanding your body and the strains playing football (is) putting your body through, going out and training every day."

Ferdinand made his senior debut at the age of 17 when he came on as a substitute for Tony Cottee in West Ham’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday in the last game of the 1996/97 season.

After playing in West Ham’s first-team for more than four seasons Ferdinand became the world’s most expensive defender when he joined Leeds for a fee of £18m in November 2000.

Less than two seasons later, he made a £34m move to Manchester United, becoming the world’s most expensive defender for a second time.

Ferdinand won 11 major trophies in 12 seasons at Old Trafford before moving to QPR in the summer and the 35-year-old insists he plans to stay in the game in some capacity.

"I've done it for so many years, it's what I love," he said. "I'm doing my (coaching) badges as well and there are other bits and pieces outside of football."

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