Despite accumulated injuries from playing professional football, Rio Ferdinand admits he is prepared to risk permanent damage for a long career. The Manchester United defender celebrated his 30th birthday last November, but insists that he is not starting to plan for his retirement.

"If I can play for another seven years until I'm 37 or something like that and I have got to have injections to play, it wouldn't bother me that I might have a limp or something like that after I've finished playing football," Ferdinand told The Times.

"I'm a little bit concerned it might become more of a problem as I get older, but I don't really like to think about it like that.

"I'm quite good at blocking pain out, I'm not into moaning about it or anything like that.

"I've got a bad ankle that I've got over loads of times, but now I'm getting a little bit older you start to feel it a little bit more.

"But I'm nowhere near the point where I feel old. I still feel 23 or 24."