Rio Ferdinand jokes that he 'borderline bullied' Cristiano Ronaldo

Rio Ferdinand reveals the dressing room rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo that got so intense it was ‘borderline bullying’ – as Man Utd legend appears to FORGET which honour he received from Prince William

  • Ferdinand recalled clashes with ex-teammate  
  • ‘I used to smash him all over the place’  
  • England legend is in Australia to promote app  

Rio Ferdinand has revealed that his dressing room battles with Cristiano Ronaldo got so intense that his ultra-competitive former Manchester United teammate was left on the verge of tears – because he couldn’t beat him at table tennis.

The England legend – who is in Australia to promote the anti-abuse social media app WeAre8 – was asked whether it’s true that Ronaldo couldn’t deal with getting ‘smashed’ by him at ping pong while they were at Old Trafford.  

He was quick to confirm that the story is on the money – and had a good laugh as he described the scenes in the locker room.

‘Me and a guy called Quinton Fortune – another [Manchester United] teammate – we used to take the mick out of him a lot,’ the 44-year-old said of his clashes with Ronaldo on the Kyle and Jackie O radio show on Friday. 

Ferdinand had a good laugh about his ping pong battles with Ronaldo (pictured together playing for Man Utd in 2009) and said if they’d been televised, they would’ve broken records

The 44-year-old England legend said he used to smash Ronaldo ‘all over the place’ before the ultra-competitive Portuguese icon improved his game and started beating him

‘He was a lot younger than us at the time – borderline bullying, maybe, but it was just trying to, like, build him, build that resilience.

‘We used to play every other day before training, as part of the warm-up. I used to smash him all over the place.

‘He did beat me … it was me and him, [ranked] one and two, like Federer and Nadal. If it was televised, it would have broken records.

‘He used to, like, almost cry and that, he was so competitive.’

The conversation moved on to Ferdinand’s charity work and he appeared to become a bit confused when the hosts asked him which award he received from Prince William last November. 

‘The OBE. I think I got the OBE. CBE? MBE?’ Ferdinand said.

‘A knighthood is next, that’s next. I don’t know what I’ve got to do to get there.’ 

For the record, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his charitable work in a ceremony at Windsor Castle, and dedicated the honour to his late mother, Janice.

Ferdinand was awarded the Order of the British Empire from Prince William last November in recognition of his charity work – but seemed confused about which honour he received during an interview on Australian radio

Earlier on his trip Down Under, Ferdinand revealed that he has banned his children from TikTok and Snapchat, even though he admitted doing so has left them ‘on the outskirts’ of their friendship groups at times.

‘My 11 year old daughter (Tia), all of her friends in her class are on TikTok and Snapchat, and I said: “No, you’re not doing it,”‘ the father of four, who is expecting another soon, said.

‘I’ve done it, and I know what’s being pushed and it’s not right. I walked past her bedroom when I first let her have it, and some of the songs she was singing I was thinking, “Wow, I don’t even say the words sometimes on those songs.”‘

The BT Sport commentator said his family, that includes wife Kate and son Cree, 2, as well as kids Lorenz, 16, Tate, 14 and Tia, 11, from his first wife Rebecca Ellison (who died of breast cancer in 2015) have had arguments around the dinner table about social media.

The Three Lions legend (pictured in Sydney this week) revealed that he has banned his children from TikTok and Snapchat to protect them from online abuse

And it’s led to him realising it may even impact their friendships – not that it is changing his mind.

‘You don’t know what they’re getting, (but) you know, it’s not all alright, and it’s not for her (Tia) age group,’ Ferdinand said.

‘So I stopped her going on social media, and now the conversation (on social media use) is now like an argument at the dinner table.

‘And I feel sorry for her, because she’s excluded from a lot of the conversations that her friends are having, and she’s almost on the outskirts of the groups that she’s in because of that.’ 

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