Football Football

Medals matter more than cash to Man U


MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, November 16 – Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has said the reason Alex Ferguson’s side continue to challenge for honours is because winning medals is more important than money to everyone at the club.

Ferdinand has won five Premier League titles, two League Cups and a Champions League crown during his time at Old Trafford and insists that is what motivates players, rather than the big wage packets they pick up each week.

United will be looking to keep their bid to regain their Premier League crown from rivals Manchester City going when they visit Norwich this weekend.

“People talk about money and all the stuff that goes on around football, but to me, it just comes back to winning,” Ferdinand said.

“It doesn’t matter how much money you have, at the end of your career, what you will be most proud of are your achievements.

“If you have won things and continue to win things for this great club, that is something to talk about. I wouldn’t sit down and talk about how much money I have,” he added.

“Football is the most important thing. At Manchester United, winning is definitely at the top of everyone’s agenda.”

Ferdinand was not involved with England during the week as his international exile continues, so he should be raring to go for the visit to Norwich.

“We quite enjoy playing away from home,” he said. “We have great players on the counter-attack and if we are under a bit of pressure, we know can cause a bit of trouble at the other end.”

Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney missed internationals during the week for the Netherlands and England respectively, but should be fit to return while Nani remains a doubt following a recent hamstring problem suffered against Braga.

Jonny Evans, who missed Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifying draw with Azerbaijan, is a doubt while Phil Jones, Shinji Kagawa and Nemanja Vidic are expected to remain out.

Meanwhile, Ferguson is happy to see Norwich boss Chris Hughton start to do well after a tough baptism at Carrow Road.

The Canaries have gone five games unbeaten since a 1-0 win over Arsenal last month and while Ferguson is hoping to scupper that run, he is expecting a tough game after United edged past their opponents last season only thanks to a late Ryan Giggs goal which gave them a 2-1 win.

“It wasn’t an easy game (last season) and you saw Norwich’s performance against Arsenal. I’ve got a lot of respect for Chris Hughton,” said the United manager.

“I think he’s done a fantastic job at Birmingham and Newcastle and, with that performance against Arsenal.

“You think they’ve maybe turned the corner in terms of Chris’s introduction there as manager. I hope not when it comes to our game, mind you,” Ferguson added.

Norwich boss Hughton has revealed Alex Tettey is fit after overcoming a back injury, while Steven Whittaker came through 90 minutes unscathed for Scotland against Luxembourg. But Russell Martin remains out with a back problem.

Norwich midfielder Robert Snodgrass has put the Canaries’ resurgence down to a strong work ethic in the squad.

“There is a great work ethic and a great belief around the place,” he said. There are no big-time Charlies or players that get carried away with themselves.

“This club is built on the success from League One and the Championship. The boys have got a point to prove. They’re all young, hungry lads and we have to keep building on it.”