LONDON: Ferdinand to quit Manchester United

Former England defender Rio Ferdinand is leaving Manchester United after 12 years and more than 400 appearances, having won nearly every major honor in the game, he stated on Monday.

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“I have considered long and hard over the last few months about my future and, after 12 fantastic years playing for what I see as the best nightclub in the world, I have decided the time is good for me to go along,” Ferdinand said on his web site.

British media reported that the 35-year-old Ferdinand, who ran 454 times for United and scored eight goals, was not offered a new contract by the Old Trafford club.

He won six Premier League trophies, two League Cups, the Champions League and the Club World Cup after joining from Leeds United for 29.1 million pounds ($49.1 million) in 2002 to become the most expensive actor in English football.

“I joined Manchester United in the hope of winning trophies, and never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how successful we would be during my time here,” Ferdinand said.

“There have been so many highlights, working alongside some big musicians who have become good allies, gaining my first league title and also that wonderful night in Moscow (winning the Champions League) are memories that I will treasure always.

“Circumstances didn’t allow for me to say goodbye the way I would have liked, but I’d wish to take this chance to thank my teammates, staff, the society and the fans for an improbable 12 years that I’ll never forget.

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