“Clout chaser”: Fans criticize Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand for supporting Nigeria in AFCON 2023

Rio Ferdinand is a soccer man through and through. Whether for Manchester United or England, the successful center-back, one of the best of his generation, is always involved in football despite retiring almost a decade ago, which means football is still a huge part of his life.

As a former seasoned professional footballer, Rio Ferdinand couldn’t help but follow the ongoing AFCON tournament in Africa, which has garnered global attention. He pledged his support to Nigeria yesterday as they beat South Africa to make it into the final, making himself a target of criticism from fans for something that the player already had.

Rio Ferdinand gets mocked for supporting Nigeria

The 2023 version of the African Cup of Nations, surprisingly played in 2024, garners much global attention as it reaches its final stages. Nigeria is currently in the final after beating South Africa yesterday in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in regulation plus extra time. Nigeria’s triumph got the whole world talking, and Rio Ferdinand joined the party by posting his special Nigerian jersey with his iconic jersey number 5 in support of the team.

Sadly, this didn’t sit well with some fans, who quickly bashed the former England international for being a clout chaser. Rio Ferdinand got many sticks from the fans, with some claiming he never represented Nigeria, probably thinking he had some Nigerian descent.

Ferdinand, in response to one of the bants, posted pictures of himself visiting Nigeria on three separate occasions and even wore native attire on one of those trips.

Rio visited Nigeria in 2008, 2019, and 2020, and even took to the streets of Lagos in one of those visits to learn about how living in Lagos must have been for many Nigerians.

Nigeria advanced to the finals in a game that was filled with penalties. Both teams scored in regular time from the spot-kick before the game went into extra time and then penalties.

image 101

Nigerian goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali proved the night’s hero as he saved two huge penalties to help Nigeria secure a spot in the final.

Is Rio Ferdinand originally from Nigeria?

According to many sources, including the data of the former England international, there’s nothing that suggests Rio Ferdinand is of Nigerian descent.

image 102
Source: Evening Standard

Ferdinand was born in South London to a white Irish mother and a Jamaican father with African roots. Although his father is black with African roots, he has never publicly stated what part of Africa his father comes from, which makes it hard to determine if he has any Nigerian ancestry.

Rio Ferdinand was an important part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, and the Peckham-raised defender won six league titles under the legendary Scot.

Ferdinand also won the UEFA Champions League with United in 2008 and was part of the FIFPro XI the same year.

image 103
Source: Evening Standard

The Premier League Hall of Famer is now a pundit with his own YouTube channel where he discusses football, including stories of former teammates like Wayne Rooney and many others.


Leave a Comment