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Ali Kasim
Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sports

Football: Derby rivalry resumes in S'pore

The New Paper | Ali Kasim | Sunday, May 18, 2014

MANCHESTER DERBY: Man City’s Sergio Aguero (in blue) and former Man United captain Rio Ferdinand (in red cap) taking on each other in a ball-juggling challenge at the Singapore Flyer yesterday.

Few would have been surprised when Rio Ferdinand and Sergio Aguero came out decked in red and blue shirts, respectively, when they turned up on stage to face the media yesterday.

Ferdinand, of course, has been a rock for Manchester United, while Argentina's Aguero has won two Premier League winners' medals in three seasons with Manchester City.

For a long time, the biggest rivalry in English football has been between United and Liverpool, but ever since City's rise to "big boys" status after the Abu Dhabi group took over in 2008 - the Manchester Derby is taking on extra significance as each season passes.

Even thousands of miles away from the Premiership battleground, and with the guns silenced now until next season, the rivalry between the two Manchester stars was evident yesterday.

Most of it was playful, of course, although central defender Ferdinand, 35, was a little rattled when The New Paper asked Argentina's Aguero for his view of United.

"Can United return to being City's main rivals in the Premiership next season, or are they too far behind?" asked this reporter.

The striker's reply was diplomatic enough, when he said the rivalry between the two clubs will always be evident and he hoped the best team would win every year.

Ferdinand then abruptly interjected.

"Can we get this guy out of here, now!" the United hero joked.

Both footballers were in Singapore for yesterday's SingTel Game On! Ultimate Selfie Challenge, using a new Samsung smartphone.

SPEAKING SINGLISH

They challenged each other learning Singlish at the Chevron House, practising taiji at the Tooth Relic temple and ball juggling at the Singapore Flyer, before talking football at the SingTel Comcentre.

Ferdinand won the Ultimate Selfie Challenge for scoring most retweets of his selfie posts on Twitter.

He had announced his United exit just before he flew from England to Singapore on Tuesday, but it was evident that the club are still very close to his heart.

Like any United man, he dreaded watching the Citizens lift their second league title in three years.

"It's never enjoyable watching another team win something you consider your own," said the stylish centre back.

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