Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand : I'd Like To Emulate Milan's Paolo Maldini

The England international says he hopes to play top-flight football until he is 40...
Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he hopes to play top class football well into has late 30's, and possibly until he is 40-years-old, just like Milan legend Paolo Maldini.

The Italian defender, who has been playing for the Rossoneri since the age of 16, is supposedly due to retire from the game this summer, having previously decided to play on after making similar announcements.

Ferdinand also began his footballing career at a young age, when he was 17 with West Ham United, and he says that while pain will not be a potential stumbling block in his quest to prolong his career, the pace and physicality of the Premier League may well prove to be.

"If I can play for another seven years, until I'm 37 or something like that, and I have got to have injections to play, it wouldn't bother me that I might have a limp or something like that after I've finished playing football," Ferdinand told The Times.

"People like Maldini are my inspiration. You look at yourself and say: 'I want to do that'. I think the only difference with someone like Maldini is the league he plays in.

"Serie A is not as fast or free-flowing as our football and that might be the biggest obstacle to me playing at 40 at that level, but you never know."

Ricky Brooks,