Ferdinand has lifted the lid on his secret injury nightmare which he feared could end his career and made it impossible to kick a ball with his young children.
He told The Sun: "It is only now I can talk about what I was really going through.
"I was trying to put a brave face on it but of course I was worried about the future. Two or three years ago people were saying I was finished and I remember those dark days. I was in a depressive state. I will admit that.
"I couldn't even go in the garden and have a little kickabout with the kids. It was embarrassing. I couldn't pick them up and put them on my shoulders because of the pain."