Now, after celebrating a decade at the club last Sunday, Ferdinand is not ready to stand aside yet.
He told The Sun: "There are always obstacles that are put in your way in your career.
"Sometimes the manager says and does things for a reaction but top players normally react in the right way and I would like to think I have done that. I played more games last season than I had for the previous couple of years.
"Careers aren't there to be easy and for everything to fall into place. You have to work hard in order to achieve things.
"I like challenges and as a footballer you need to embrace them, then go out there and perform. Hopefully that will make it difficult for the manager to leave you out. Obviously people see my career ending in the next two or three years and the manager has to plan for the future.
"But I have to prove to him that I can continue playing and the youngsters have to prove they are worthy of a place."