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Rio Ferdinand reveals his greatest ever Manchester United game... was a 0-0 draw

Rio Ferdinand has revealed that his best ever performance for Manchester United was in a 0-0 draw away to Barcelona in the 2008 Champions League. 

Alongside Patrice Evra, Wes Brown and make-shift right-back Owen Hargreaves in defence, Ferdinand and the United back line managed to keep Barcelona’s devastating attackers at bay over two legs.

He told the March issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out now: “We kept a clean sheet in both legs of that semi against Barcelona, with their forward line: Samuel Eto’o, Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry. 

“They had some ridiculous players, and over 180 minutes we kept them out.”


The performance at the Camp Nou saw United dominate the first-half, as Cristiano Ronaldo missed a golden opportunity to give United a crucial away goal from the penalty spot, but the Portuguese winger blazed his spot kick over the bar. 

The second-half saw Barcelona grow into the game a bit more - but the United defence held firm, limiting the home side to only a couple of long-range efforts from Thierry Henry, both of which were easy saves for goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar.

The Reds then won the second leg 1-0 thanks to Paul Scholes superb long-range strike, which sent Manchester United to Moscow to play Chelsea in the 2008 final, which they eventually won on penalties.

Talking about that semi-final first-leg result, Ferdinand added: “Not just for me as an individual, but as a team, it was our best defensive performance. 

“That was all about concentration – it’s one of the biggest assets for any defender.”


Read the full interview with Rio Ferdinand in the March 2020 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out in shops and available digitally now – and available to order online. Our new magazine features the full story of Jose Mourinho's quest for a third Champions League title, an in-depth profile of African Player of the Year Sadio Mané plus more exclusive interviews with Mateo Kovacic, Andres Iniesta, Benjamin Mendy, Peter Reid, Djibril Cisse and many more. We also find out the greatest ever European Cup losers, visit the Indian Ocean club competing in the Coupe de France, and debunk football's greatest myths.