‘You’ll never play for Man Utd again’ – Fergie ‘erupted’ at seeing Van Nistelrooy with City shirt after 2002 derby loss

RIO FERDINAND has revealed Sir Alex Ferguson made him realise the importance of the Manchester derby after he unleashed a tirade against Ruud van Nistelrooy.

The incident came after a defeat at Maine Road with United star van Nistelrooy showing a lack of understanding of how significant the result was.

After the match he swapped shirts with an opponent, a huge mistake as it led him to incur the wrath of Fergie despite his star status at the time.

Ferdinand said on his FIVE Youtube channel: "We got beat 3-1 at Maine Road with Shaun Goater scoring two goals.

"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.'"

Ferdinand won 12 out of the 25 Manchester derby matches he played in.

Another clash that will stick in his memory is the 6-1 defeat to City at Old Trafford in 2011.

That match highlighted City's emerging dominance in the Premier League and in derby matches – Ferdinand lost four out of his last five derby games, a fact which likely infuriated Ferguson.

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