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The England defender has detailed the impact the two Old Trafford seniors have had on him as he looks to prolong his own playing career with club and country

Rio Ferdinand has labelled the careers of team-mates Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes as an ‘inspiration’.

Scholes came out of retirement this season only eight months after confirming his departure as a player, while Giggs remains a key member of the squad at the age of 38.

Ferdinand told The Sun: “They are an inspiration to people like me.

“I’m 33 now and have been at the club 10 years.

“You see someone like Scholes, who is 37, and Giggs, who is even older, and you think to yourself that, hopefully, you can get to those levels in terms of both age and playing at the very top.

“But I think your body is the defining factor, telling you whether you can or can’t play at that level any more. Fingers crossed, my body holds up and I’ve another few years left in me.”

The England international has enjoyed a consistent season without injuries which had hampered his progress in 2010-11, and he now setting his sights on a place in the squad for the European Championships this summer.

“I’ve been to World Cups but never to a European Championship. So to finish the season with a title winner’s medal and then go to the Euros, it would be the icing on the cake.”

United face title rivals Manchester City on April 30 in a fascinating run-in and Ferdinand is hoping that his side can have the trophy won by the time the two teams meet.

“Obviously we’d love to have it wrapped up before then but who knows? It makes for a great run-in to the end of the season for the fans, whether they are for us, against us or neutrals.”

RIO'S RISING HIGH
40/1
Rio Ferdinand is 40/1 with bet365 to score the opening goal when Manchester United play Aston Villa on Sunday.
Blooding youth has been a key element this season at Old Trafford with the likes of Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones regularly featuring, and Ferdinand has praised Sir Alex Ferguson in going down this route.

“The manager knows best and his experience is so valuable to this team and this club.

“We’re in a period of transition but need to keep winning.

“We’ve a great blend of experience and the young players brought in recently haven’t won anything yet but have that hunger and desire to go out and win their first trophy. Hopefully, the blend will see us over the line.”

While Ferdinand enjoys managerial consistency at club level the same cannot be said of the national team. However, the England defender is backing the Three Lions to be professional despite problematic preparations ahead of their European campaign.

“We’ve all been in situations where the manager has been questioned or you’re waiting for a manager to come in. But here the players just have to get on and deal with it.

“You have to be professional, that is what you are there to do. The structure in the England camp hasn’t changed much, so there is that to lean on and that experience to feed off.”

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