Rio Ferdinand slammed for wishing Pep Guardiola ‘good luck’ before Man City’s 4-0 victory over Real Madrid
Pep Guardiola’s men crushed the holders at the Etihad Stadium to book their place in the Champions League final against Inter Milan in Istanbul on June 10. Bernardo Silva scored twice, Eder Militao netted an own goal and Julian Alvarez added a fourth for City.
Rio Ferdinand has been blasted for sending a ‘good luck’ text to Pep Guardiola ahead of Man City’s 4-0 thrashing of Real Madrid on Wednesday night.
The former Man United skipper revealed his message to Guardiola on BT Sport after the game. The confession has shocked many, as Ferdinand is a legend of United, who are desperate to stop City from winning ‘The Treble’ this season.
City are on course to emulate United’s historic achievement of winning the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in the same season. United are the only team to have done that, under Sir Alex Ferguson in 1999.
United take great pride in being the sole holders of that record. But that did not stop Ferdinand from showing his support to Guardiola before Wednesday night’s crucial second-leg tie in Manchester.
Ferdinand said on BT Sport: “He texted me, Pep Guardiola, before the game. I said, ‘Good luck’. He said, ‘Listen, believe me, we beat them two years ago, we’ll beat them again – believe’. I said, ‘I believe you, I hope you do it’.”
Ferdinand’s story was confirmed by Guardiola’s reaction at full-time. As his players celebrated on the pitch, Guardiola was seen pointing at Ferdinand and shouting “I told you”. He was presumably referring to their text exchange.
Fans on social media were appalled by Ferdinand’s “I hope you do it” remark. One tweeted: “Ferdinand is absolutely embarrassing saying he texted Guardiola good luck. Man Utd legend texting the City manager. Absolutely no rivalry in England anymore.”
Another wrote: “Imagine Thierry Henry or Patrick Vieira [as Arsenal legends] texting a Spurs manager wishing them good luck in a semi-final.”
Some fans also doubted whether Ferdinand was telling the truth, with one fan accusing him of “always wanting that main character role”. Joleon Lescott verified Ferdinand did text Guardiola, but he had a different version of events.
After Ferdinand told his story, Lescott replied: “No, you didn’t say that Rio! You showed me!” Laughing, Ferdinand asked Lescott to explain his comment. The ex-City defender then joked: “[You said], ‘Can you get me some tickets for the final?’”
Ferdinand continued: “I just think the conviction that he had – the confidence. That was like two or three hours before the game and he’s sending me a text like that. That is pure confidence in the detail that he’s probably gone into in the lead up to this game and the confidence he’s got in those players.”