Rio Ferdinand reveals his shock love for Newcastle United after ‘tongue-in-cheek comments’

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It turns out Rio Ferdinand is a fan of Newcastle United after all.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has revealed his love for Newcastle United fans, despite making “tongue-in-cheek comments” about the club in recent years.

The 44-year-old has found himself on the wrong side of Magpies supporters after a number of controversial takes during Mike Ashley’s disastrous time as owner. Ferdinand often defended the Sports Direct tycoon and once told fans to “round your money up and take over” the club themselves.

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Ferdinand, however, has changed his tune, even after watching his beloved Man United lose 2-0 at St James’ Park on Sunday. Ferdinand labelled United fans “phenomenal” and is pleased to see to Eddie Howe’s side doing well.

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

“I have to say, I respect what Eddie Howe is doing there,” he told Vibe with Five. “The fanbase is crazy - they don’t warm to me anymore after a couple of tongue-in-cheek comments about them ages ago.

“But I actually love the Newcastle fans and the way they support their team is phenomenal. When I come up the next time guys, give me a bit of love man! It shouldn’t be all hate.

“If there is any club that I’d loved to see do well because I know what it means to the city, to the people and the way they support they will their club it would be Newcastle, so good luck man.”

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Ferdinand, who was joined on his show by Magpies winger Jacob Murphy, admitted Howe’s men were fully deserving of their victory against the Red Devils.

“I knew this would be a tough game,” he said, “Man United players didn’t grasp that going to St James’ is a big test for all teams, especially the way these guys are playing.

“Down the years it’s always been a test, but the Newcastle players grasped that this game is about getting into the top four and if you come to our house, you’re going to have to outwork us and Man United’s players didn’t turn up.

“When you hear Luke Shaw talking about a lack of commitment, desire and energy - all the ingredients you need before talking about skill - they didn’t possess on the day.

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“Under Eddie Howe, you bring that every single week, and that’s one thing I respect about your team.”

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