Leeds' Ben White makes Rio Ferdinand admission

Rio Ferdinand during a press conference at The Town Hall Hotel on September 19, 2017 in London, England. Retired England international footballer Rio Ferdinand announced at the press...

The Leeds United defender idolised Rio Ferdinand, who upset a lot of fans 17 years ago.

Ben White of Leeds United

It's taken over three months, but Ben White has finally made a mistake at Leeds United - and it has come on a stage rather than a football pitch.

The 22-year-old joined on a season-long loan from Brighton & Hove Albion and White has been faultless virtually every week in a Leeds defence that has conceded only nine goals in 16 games.

In fact, White has also played every minute of every Championship game under Marcelo Bielsa this season, underlining his seamless transition to life in West Yorkshire.

But the young centre-back has made a bit of a gaffe.


Speaking in an interview with LUTV, flanked by Mateusz Klich and Liam Cooper, White admitted that his favourite player growing up was a certain Rio Ferdinand.

He said when asked which player he idolised as a child: "I'd probably say Rio Ferdinand, for me."

There's nothing wrong with looking up to such a successful and stellar figure in football, especially when you too grow up to be a centre-back, but admitting it in a room full of Leeds fans might've been a touch naive.

Ferdinand is an unpopular figure in those parts after a £30 million move to old enemy Manchester United back in 2002.

General view of Elland Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday at Elland Road on February 25, 2017 in Leeds, England.

White, born in 1997, was only a child at the time of the transfer and therefore might not be aware of the animosity that many supporters harbour toward the former England international.

The Elland Road faithful booed and jeered Ferdinand on his return with the Red Devils in 2002, with the hostile treatment starting even before kickoff during the warm-up [The Examiner].

The 41-year-old gave Whites fans another reason to dislike him as recently as last season, when he admitted to Joe that he wanted Sheffield United to win Premier League promotion ahead of his former side, which they of course did in the end.

It was a very minor error from White and if that's the biggest mistake that he makes as a Leeds player then the supporters will happily live with it - especially if he helps them back into the big time.

13 Apr 2001:  Rio Ferdinand of Leeds celebrates after scoring the first goal during the Liverpool v Leeds United FA Carling Premiership match at Anfield, Liverpool. Mandatory Credit: Alex...


Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch