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Rowland exclusive: Ferdinand destined for England even at West Ham

Former West Ham and Northern Ireland full-back Keith Rowland has said Rio Ferdinand was destined to play for England.

In an interview with Tribal Football this week, Rowland touched on his five-year career at West Ham, where he played under Harry Redknapp and alongside Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand.

Ferdinand made his West Ham debut in 1995, at Rowland said it was clear from a very young age that he was going to be a great player.

He told Tribal Football: "Rio and Frank were coming through at the time when I was at West Ham.

"Rio was always going to play at the top level and we all knew he would play for England even when he was just 16 years of age."

Playing as a centre-back, Ferdinand would eventually have a hugely successful career.

He left the Hammers after five seasons in the first-team for Leeds United, where stayed for two years before Manchester United made him the most expensive defender of all time.

It was at United where Ferdinand established himself as one of modern's footballers greatest defenders, leading Sir Alex Ferguson's team to six Premier League titles and the Champions League over 12 seasons at the club.

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