PHOTO: Friends reunited! Ferdinand watches World Cup with ex team-mate

Manchester United defensive great Rio Ferdinand took in the Brazil v Croatia match with Fabio and Rafael da Silva.

Whilst some of his former international colleagues with the England national football team begin their World Cup duties in Brazil, Rio Ferdinand starts a new phase of his own career as he links up the BBC punditry team in Rio de Janeiro.

Taking a break from his role as an analyst, though, Ferdinand, 35, who left Manchester United last month, enjoyed the introductory Group A game between hosts Brazil and Croatia with two of his former team-mates Fabio da Silva and brother Rafael. 

When the da Silva twins first joined the Old Trafford outfit in 2008, they were heralded as the future heirs of the left and right back berths in the Brazil national football team - to go on and eventually oust Maicon and Michel Bastos.

That is yet to materialise, with Fabio - 23 - now at Cardiff City and Rafael, last year, linked with a transfer to Corinthians.

Both players are currently in their native Brazil to absorb the atmosphere and did not hesitate to take in the 3-1 victory over Croatia with Ferdinand.

On England's chances in the tournament, Ferdinand recently said: "I’m confident we’ll get to the quarter-finals. The young players have got energy and are fearless."

But his tip for the competition winners? "Brazil."

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