Rio - what's wrong with football
Rio Ferdinand has hit out at the attitude of young players today, saying they are too interested in the celebrity trappings of football. The England captain, who is expected to return to United's squad for the lunchtime clash with Everton on Saturday, believes too many starlets believe they've made it before even achieving anything in the game. Ferdinand believes that is one of the biggest problems facing English football today. Too many lads get their first pro contract and think 'I am on £500 or £2,000 a week which is a lot of money and I am set up for a lifetime now', he said. I probably signed three contracts from ages 17 to 18 but I was never content - I was always setting myself goals. Now a lot of the kids are exposed to so much more of the thrills and spills around football. They think to themselves 'If I play a game for the first team all these girls will be after me, I will be invited to all these nightclubs, I will be able to get a new car and buy myself a nice flat'. They are not thinking beyond that. They think 'what a life I have'. Ferdinand believes apprentices should be forced to clean pros' boots just as he had to when he was emerging through the ranks at West Ham. That was one of the best groundings, he said. Now kids don't even do it. I played a few first team games and still cleaned Harry Redknapp's boots. The kitman does it now. If they were having to do it they would think 'I want to play my way out of this'. We weren't just cleaning boots but cleaning changing rooms. I remember Manchester United beating us at Upton Park and I had to wait two hours outside their dressing room before I could get in and clean it.
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