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Rio concerned by football's riches
10 Sep 2010 - 09:42:18
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes youngsters coming into the game are getting too much, too soon.
The 31-year-old England captain has suggested that the modern-day game is awash with too much money and youngsters are spoiled by the riches on offer.
English football has been in the spotlight following the dismal performance of the national team at this summer's World Cup finals.
"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'," Ferdinand told The Sun.
"I probably signed three contracts from ages 17 to 18 but I was never content. I was always setting myself goals.
"I gave myself goals of playing more reserve games, then getting on the bench for the first team. Then the next season I would tell myself I wanted to start four or five games by Christmas for the first team. I was always setting targets.
"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'.
"Where they used to train into the evening now it is just a few hours, and two years down the line they are signing on at the Jobcentre."