Manchester United

Rio Ferdinand reveals Sir Alex Ferguson once "destroyed" Ruud van Nistelrooy in the dressing room

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Sir Alex Ferguson once 'destroyed' Ruud van Nistelrooy after losing a Manchester derby
Sir Alex Ferguson once 'destroyed' Ruud van Nistelrooy after losing a Manchester derby / Jamie McDonald/GettyImages
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Rio Ferdinand revealed Sir Alex Ferguson once destroyed Ruud van Nistelrooy after losing a Manchester Derby in November 2002.

The derby was Ferdinand's first after signing for Manchester United from Leeds United and got his first taste of the derby as United travelled to rivals, Manchester City.

The match did not go according to Ferguson's plans, as the Red Devils were swept aside 3-1, and Ferdinand admitted he understood exactly what the derby meant to United when he entered the dressing room following the loss.

"We got beat 3-1 at Maine Road with Shaun Goater scoring two goals," he told his Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE YouTube channel during an interview with City legend Vincent Kompany.

"That was the first derby I played and the moment I realised how big it was was in the changing room after. We walked in and the manager shut the door. It was quiet and then all of a sudden he just erupted.

"Ruud van Nistelrooy, who was the God then, walked in with a City shirt in his hand and I remember Sir Alex Ferguson just absolutely unloaded on him. He destroyed him, saying: "If I ever see any of you walking with a City shirt ever again you'll never play for this club."

"That's how he was, he was just mad. That's when I sat there and thought: "This is a big game, isn't it?"

"I didn't realise before that game and ever since then, whether you win more or less, I knew that week leading up to a derby was all or nothing."

Kompany added the game was "everything" during his time at the Etihad. The Belgian defender said: "I lived for big games. As I child, I could be the one that didn't play well when everyone expects you to 'cause it's an easy game.

"But I never missed a big game... those games, I knew I was going to be ready. I didn't have to do much, I just focused on my preparation. The mind set changed so much over the years. The very first time I played against United it was [Carlos] Tevez, [Wayne] Rooney and [Cristiano] Ronaldo up front.

"I might as well have gone to the Trafford Centre! I'm happy I didn't have to go through that a lot in my career, that feeling was horrible.... But we won the FA Cup semi-final [in 2011] - and for us that was the tipping point. Until then we didn't really have the belief that it was a fair contest."

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