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Rio Ferdinand suggests Alex Ferguson would have been irate with Harry Maguire after Manchester derby

Rio Ferdinand

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Rio Ferdinand is the latest Manchester United legend to criticise the friendly scenes that followed the full-time whistle of Saturday’s Manchester derby.

After Man United and Man City played out a relatively uneventful 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, a number of players from both sides exchanged embraces and laughs before making their way back to their respective changing rooms.

Former Red Devils captain Roy Keane was predictably incandescent at the sight of players closing out what is traditionally a fierce derby in such good humour.

Rio Ferdinand has echoed Keane’s comments and insisted that it would never have happened during his time with the Red Devils.

“Boring Manchester derby. Normally there’s pushing and shoving, normally there’s a little bit of needle in the game, some goals. This was just a 0-0 borefest and at the end, hugs all around,” Ferdinand said on the FIVE YouTube channel.

“I think it’s been well-documented on social media. Listen, the new generation are different, we can’t expect them to be the same as the way we were. We weren’t hugging and kissing any Man City players or Liverpool players when we were playing because it was just a mad rivalry.

“We didn’t like them, we didn’t like being at their stadium for longer than we needed to be, we didn’t want to bump into any City fans during the week or after and the players, we were amicable. Listen, I get on with Joleon Lescott, Vinny Kompany, Joe Hart, Gareth Barry, all players who played for Man City at the time.

“But during the time we weren’t close and hugs wouldn’t have been part of what we were doing. A good shake of the hand, ‘how are you doing mate?’ with a grimace. There was an undertone there because we were rivals, it’s as simple as that.

“I don’t understand and I don’t get the hugging really. It’s not something I would’ve done, I would’ve been on people for doing it. But I understand this generation are different.”

Ferdinand recalled an incident that has been discussed extensively by former United players as the former defender revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson once delivered a particularly aggressive instance of hairdryer treatment to Ruud van Nistelrooy after the Dutchman swapped shirts with a City player after a defeat in the derby.

Rio Ferdinand

Ferdinand suggested that Ferguson wouldn’t have stood for the likes of Harry Maguire hugging John Stones on the pitch after a derby and claimed that United could do with a bit more of that mentality nowadays.

Ferdinand continued: “I’ll never forget, and this is what needs to happen. When I played for Man Utd, the first Manchester derby that I played in was at Maine Road, the old Manchester City stadium.

“We got beat 3-1 I think, Goater scored a couple and they beat us. Coming into the changing room I could feel it, I could sense the atmosphere. I sat down and Ruud van Nistelrooy walked in with a Man City shirt. He’d swapped a shirt!

“Sir Alex Ferguson went off his head, he went nuts. He didn’t go red, he went purple. He went mad. He absolutely flipped, ‘don’t you ever come into this changing room after a derby with a shirt of theirs. Ever! Don’t bring one in this changing room’.

“From that moment I knew. I had a feeling before, but I was in no uncertain terms after I left the changing room that day that hugs and kisses and swapping shirts doesn’t happen in Man Utd vs. Man City.

“That’s the way that I was shown at the beginning and that’s the way I continued. The question is now, is that the law being laid down now by the people that are there?

“Is there someone looking at a picture of the captain hugging one of their players? They might be mates, that’s fair, that’s fine, but is there someone in there saying, ‘listen, we don’t do that in here, what are you doing?’

“Who is that person telling him that? That’s the difference.”

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