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Rio Ferdinand: I would have liked to say goodbye

Rio Ferdinand has spoken of his sadness at not being able to say goodbye properly before his departure from Manchester United.

The veteran defender issued a statement saying: "Circumstances didn't allow for me to say goodbye the way I would have liked but I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my team-mates, staff, the club and the fans for an unbelievable 12 years that I'll never forget.

Rio Ferdinand to leave Manchester United

Veteran defender Rio Ferdinand will leave Manchester United this summer after 12 years at the club.

Ferdinand's contract had come to an end and the club have opted not to renew the 35-year-old's deal.

Rio Ferdinand showing off his new shirt after signing for Manchester United in 2002. Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

He said in a statement: "I have thought long and hard over the last few months about my future and, after 12 fantastic years playing for what I regard as the best club in the world, I have decided the time is right for me to move on."

The centre-back joined the Old Trafford outfit for £30m from Leeds United in the summer of 2002, going on to make over 300 appearances.

Hodgson and Ferdinand join England commission

England manager Roy Hodgson and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand have joined Football Association chairman Greg Dyke's England commission.

The appointments were announced a day after FA board member Heather Rabbatts publically criticised Mr Dyke for a lack of diversity on the commission.

Gerrard 'not interested' in Rio's England identity claims

England captain Steven Gerrard has hit back at Rio Ferdinand's claims that the national side has lacked an identity since Glenn Hoddle was the manager.

Answering a question from ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott, the midfielder said: "I'm not interested in what Rio Ferdinand has to say about this group of players.

"When you play for England there's always a lot of opinions outside the group, especially in a World Cup year...but when we're inside (the group) we don't take much notice of what is said outside."

He added that he disagreed with Ferdinand's comments and felt the current England squad did have an identity.

You can watch the England v Scotland match live on ITV from 7.30pm or stream it live on the ITV football website

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