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Ferdinand hits out at United cynics

UNHAPPY: Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand

MANCHESTER UNITED defender Rio Ferdinand has hit back at those who he perceives show a lack of respect towards the Premier League champions.

Last season United lifted their fourth league trophy in five years and record 19th championship overall, allowing them to surpass Liverpool as England's most successful team domestically.

But their domestic glory was muted just days after lifting the major domestic prize when they were humbled 3-1 by Barcelona in the Champions League final at Wembley.

With the Premier League due to start on August 13, some pundits have refused to make United favourites to retain their crown and the England centre-half is not happy.

"It is ridiculous. It makes me laugh," said England stalwart Ferdinand, who has over one million followers on the popular social networking site Twitter.

"We have won the league four times out of five. Half of it is that people want someone else to win it. Before I came here, Manchester United used to win the league and I would think it would be nice from a fans' point of view to see someone else putting up a challenge. Your heart rules your head sometimes. Not that it bothers me.

"If someone had said at the beginning we would reach the Champions League final and win the league, we would have accepted it and I am sure the media would have thought we had done quite well. That is how you have to look at it. I just think you have to savour moments like that. The 19th title was a big event. We should enjoy it."

"It was a weird summer," he said. "We won a 19th league title, which was obviously fantastic but we lost the Champions League final.”

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