When you've had a long career, won a bunch of trophies, made enough money to finance a movie starring 50 Cent and merk'd half of England 2006 World Cup team, staying motivated on the pitch can be difficult. But not for Rio Ferdinand, who, as a 33-year-old adult man draws his motivation from the young hecklers who goad him as he walks his children to school.

From The Sun:

"When you're walking up the path to school, you don't want little kids laughing at you or making fun of you because you've been beaten.

"That's what happens if you lose games or get knocked out of competitions.

"Young kids can be unforgiving. There's nothing in their minds that goes, 'he plays football, leave him alone'. If anything, they're even worse for it.

"And there's still a little kid inside me who has pride and an ego and wants to make sure I can walk up that path and nobody can say anything to me because we've won.

"I know as soon as that feeling goes it's time to pack up my boots."

To be fair to the kids, there's nothing in their minds that goes, "he players football, leave him alone" because they primarily know Rio as "that Man United fan who is always on Twitter."

Anyway, more footballers need to know that the day you can block out the insults of pre-pubescent voices is the day you should retire.


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