Rio Ferdinand says the prospect of becoming part of Manchester United folklore was one of his key driving factors as the Reds’ marched to a record 19th league title.
The historic achievement meant they became England’s most successful club at domestic level.
And it ensured that Ferdinand (pictured left) and the rest of the class of 2011 cemented their own place in the annals of United history.
Yet the £29.1m defender initially took time to make his Old Trafford mark.
Although his first season ended in a Premier League title, the second was scarred by that infamous missed drugs test that landed him an eight-month man.
And Fedinand’s return initially coincided with a fallow period for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
Since 2007 though, Ferdinand has more than made up for lost time.
The 32-year-old will collect his fifth title medal after Sunday’s Premier League encounter with Blackpool and then, on May 28, will appear in a third European Cup final when United meet Barcelona at Wembley.
“When I first came to United all I thought about was making sure I etched myself a little bit within the history of the club and to do that meant winning trophies,” Ferdinand said.
“I have been fortunate enough to be part of squads that have won trophies. You just really enjoy those moments.
“To be part of a club with such great history and be part of a successful team within that history is the icing on the cake.”
Once they have collected a record 19th title on Sunday, minds will be fully focused on beating Barcelona.
The Wembley showdown will offer United the perfect opportunity to atone for their 2009 Champions League final defeat at the hands of the Spaniards.
But Ferdinand says that if the Reds are to put the record straight, they must shackle Lionel Messi, the man currently rated the world’s best player.
“Messi is one of the best players in the world,” said Ferdinand. “He can hurt you anywhere on the pitch.
“But it’s not just going to be down to one or two people taking care of someone like him, the whole team has to do it.
“They will thinking the same thing with the players we have got. We have players that can hurt you from all over the park.”