Rio Ferdinand recalls Ruud van Nistelrooy moment that highlighted priorities

Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand has opened up on Ruud van Nistelrooy’s battle for the Golden Boot with Thierry Henry, and revealed the Dutchman would strop if he didn’t score in games.

Van Nistelrooy is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in United’s recent history.

The Dutchman was idolised by Red Devils fans during his time at Old Trafford, having scored 150 goals in 219 games across all competitions.

He also won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2002-2003 as the Red Devils lifted the league title, and won the Champions League Golden Boot on three different occasions.

And according to Ferdinand, he was so driven by scoring goals that he would sometimes be unhappy if he hadn’t scored in games, regardless of whether United had won or not.

Rio Ferdinand has lifted the lid on Ruud van Nistelrooy’s time at Manchester United

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Ferdinand expressed he feels Van Nistelrooy would have broken Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record before Wayne Rooney did.

“Ruud was an animal, an animal. He’s the best finisher I ever played with,” Ferdinand said.

“If he stayed at United he’d break every record going.

Ruud van Nistelrooy was a goalscoring machine during his time at Manchester United
Ruud van Nistelrooy was a goalscoring machine during his time at Manchester United

“I remember we won somewhere 4-1 but he didn’t score. He was in the dressing room after and he almost looked emotional.

“I thought ‘wow, this guy cares this much that we won? Wow, Ruud’s my guy’.

“I asked him if he was alright and he went: ‘I didn’t score!’ Like he was vexed!

“To put the nail in the coffin, Thierry got two on the same day so the Golden Boot was going away from him as well.

“He was just driven to score, he was born to just score, man.

“Ruud would come into the changing room had finished, jog down the tunnel and turn the tele on to see the results and who scored – what’s Arsenal ‘s score? Who scored for Arsenal? Thierry scored [head in hands], if Thierry hadn’t scored ‘well done guys, well done’. He was just a machine.”

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