RIO FERDINAND enjoyed boozing so much as a youngster he would go on benders and drink ten pints of Guinness before hitting the shots.
The Manchester United legend, now 43, has revealed he was part of a major drinking culture early in his career which saw him juggle football with nights out partying.
Former Red Devils and England captain Ferdinand played 81 times for his country and was regarded as one of the best defenders in world football.
But he confesses there was a time he behaved “like a lunatic” as he downed pints and vodka for fun.
In an interview with the Guardian in 2019, Ferdinand – who came through the ranks at West Ham – said: “I used to go through a load when I was younger.
“I could probably do eight, nine, ten [pints]. Then I’d move on to the vodkas.
“I could go through loads. I could go all day drinking, then wake up and go again when I was younger.
“I always say to people who ask if I have any regrets about playing, I wouldn’t have drunk alcohol.
“When I was younger I did. I was a lunatic. When I was at West Ham, elements of my career are a blur.
“People talk about performances and results at certain times in them games and I just sit and nod my head.
“I haven’t got a clue what they’re talking about. I don’t remember.
“Saturday or Sunday. It was a different culture. Crazy. The culture I was in at West Ham was a drinking culture.
“Football and drinks and nightclubs, that’s the way it was. And that’s the way I lived at that time.”
By the time Ferdinand made his record-breaking move from Leeds to Man Utd in 2002 for £30million, he had started to pull back from the abyss and largely cut out alcohol during the season.
But he would still cut loose in the off-season with lengthy benders.
Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles with United, added: “In the summers I’d drink for two weeks. Bang. Just keep drinking.
“Yes. I was lucky. I had a natural ability that could get me through that period of my life.
“But I got to a point where I had to make a decision to be more professional.”