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The 34-year-old says that after he made his move to Old Trafford from Leeds back in 2002, he discovered there is greater interest in the Red Devils than in the national team

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand claims that the club is bigger than the England national team.

The 34-year-old has 81 international appearances to his name but maintains that nothing matches the global appeal of Manchester United.

Nevertheless, Ferdinand remains very proud to have represented his country.

"Playing for England has been one of the highlights of my career", he told The Sun.

The former West Ham and Leeds defender revealed how Nicky Butt had warned him about the interest in Manchester United before he moved to Old Trafford.

"Before I signed for United in 2002, I remember talking to Nicky Butt at the World Cup in Japan," he continued.

"He said, ‘If you think you get a big following with England, wait until you sign for United’. I didn’t really get it at the time but he was absolutely right.

"When we tour places like Asia with United, it’s just amazing. The interest is so much more than anything you experience with England."

It was announced this week that the Premier League leaders are the first sports club to be valued at more than £2 billion.

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