Rio: Communicating with your team-mates

Manchester United legend, Rio Ferdinand, on how to get the best out of the team around you

Whether it's shouting encouragment, calling for the ball or organising the defence at a set-piece, every team needs a chatterbox.

A breakdown in commnunication leads to a collapse out on the pitch - that's why Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand spends 90 minutes chewing his team-mates' ears off.

More after the break

"I keep talking all through the game. Even if I'm talking rubbish - and often I am! - I keep going. It helps to keep you and your fellow defenders on your toes," he told FFT.

In this video Ferdinand reveals the secrets to communicating effectively with your team-mates.

As part of Nike’s The Chance initiative, a global search for young football talent, Rio has been helping to toughen up the four UK finalists ahead of The Chance world finals to be held in London, January 19-22. 100 players from around the world will take part in the finals and eight will be selected to play for the Nike Academy full time from next season.

Rio enlisted the help of James Milner, Ashley Cole and Aaron Lennon to help ‘mentor’ the four UK hopefuls. To follow their progress visit

Also see:
Rise above the attack
Tricky or tall, it’s no problem
Rio: The thinking man's guide to defending
Rio: Handling different types of striker
Rio: Playing out from the back
Rio: My pre-match playlist
Rio: When to hit row Z

"I think it's about encouragement; that's the way I lead, is through encouragement and through the way you play. I think sometimes I do shout, often there's right times at someone, to get into someone.

I think a lot of players respond better nowadays from encouragement. If someone makes a mistake, "You're all right. Don't worry about it. Get on with the next move or whatever."

I think it's good to pull people about. I think if there's a ball going to come into the forward, it's easier sometimes if you can shuffle the midfielder across to stop him passing the ball, stop that channel to be passed into.

Or if the ball's on the other side of the pitch, make sure your full-back's alongside, so you just shout him, "Com in. Get in a little bit, because the ball out isn't going to hurt us."

If there's a player spare in the box, you start shouting, "Who's got him? Who's on him? Who's marking him?" If they've taken the short corner, you know you've got designated player to go out and to go out there for that short corner. If one of them doesn't do it, then you're asking the question, "Why aren't you out there?""

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