Rio Ferdinand hoped that Manchester United would replace Sir Alex Ferguson with Jose Mourinho when the legendary Scot retired in 2013.
David Moyes ultimately took over at Old Trafford but he lasted less than a season and Rio Ferdinand, whose final season with United coincided with Moyes’ only campaign with the Red Devils, has admitted that he was hoping for Jose Mourinho to be appointed when Ferguson retired.
It wasn’t until three years after Ferguson’s retirement that Mourinho took charge of United and the Portuguese never quite achieved the kind of success expected of him when he was unveiled as United manager in 2016.
Ferdinand, however, has revealed why he felt that Mourinho was the perfect candidate to immediately replace Ferguson at Old Trafford in 2013.
“I thought that [Mourinho should take over] at the time,” Ferdinand told the FIVE YouTube channel.
“I thought Mourinho would have been the one to come in then to carry on what the manager was doing.
“Because he had the experience of that type of player, that stature of club, etc. But it never materialised. At that time I would have been punching the air if Mourinho had come through the door.
“Mourinho had the experience, he’d won the league, won the Champions League, managed at Inter, Real Madrid, Chelsea – they’re all big clubs.
“He knew what he was coming into but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee you success at Man United as we saw when he came at the time he did.”
Mourinho was on Ferguson’s shortlist of names to replace him when his unprecedentedly successful time at United came to an end but the Scot was aware that Mourinho had already agreed to return to Chelsea.
When Mourinho finally moved to Old Trafford, he delivered only a handful of minor trophies in the form of a League Cup, Europa League and Community Shield.