A first half strike from Pedro gave the Catalans the lead but Wayne Rooney’s strike put United level at half time.
But there was nothing Ferdinand and his teammates could do as Barca moved up through the gears in the second half and added two goals from Lionel Messi and David Villa to seal their fourth Champions League title.
“Give credit to them, they played well,” Ferdinand told ITV Sport after the final whistle.
“We could’ve played better in parts, but on the day they were the better team so we can’t really argue.”
Barcelona dominated possession throughout the match and created many more chances than United, restricting their opponents to a handful of chances on the counter attack.
And Ferdinand admitted Pep Guardiola’s side could be the best side ever due to the chemistry and talent they have within their squad.
“I think time will tell [if they’re the best ever],” he continued.
“They’re a great side, with great players.
“They’ve got a way of playing they all know well and it was up to us to combat them and today we didn’t do that.”
United will be disappointed with the goals they conceded, especially Villa’s strike which came from United's defence giving the ball away inside their own penalty area.
Ferdinand did his best to block the Spaniard's strike but the ball was curled around him and into the back of the net and past Edwin Van der Sar, and the defender admitted they could have defended better.
“We’ll have to look at them [the goals] when we get inside but yeah we could have done better,” he added.
“With a couple of the goals but you need a bit of lady luck with you,
“You need to defend well and tonight maybe a couple of times we got caught.”
The defeat is the second in three years for United against the La Liga giants, which is not a feeling the England defender likes to experience given the belief they had going into the game that they could contain the free flowing football of their opponents.
“Losing any cup final is the same, it doesn’t matter where it is,” he explained.
“You don’t want to come to any final and lose and we came here to win and we genuinely believed that but tonight give credit where credit’s due, they were the better team.”