Rio Ferdinand has offered an insight into the rivalry between Ruud van Nistelrooy and Thierry Henry in the early 2000s.
The strikers played for Manchester United and Arsenal respectively and Ferdinand has revealed how competitive his teammate was.
He revealed that van Nistelrooy was so bent on outscoring Thierry Henry that he would be sad even when Manchester United had won a game by a 4-1 scoreline.
Ferdinand revealed that his former Dutch teammate would leave the pitch at the end of a game and head straight to the TV to see if henry has scored more goals than him in a particular game week.
Both strikers were arguably the best in the division as Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger battled for supremacy in the English top flight.
Ferdinand was quoted by Manchester Evening News, saying of the Dutchman: ‘You’ve had all these rivalries over the years, great players need great rivalries. They need rivalries. They should be looking at each other.
‘Ruud van Nistelrooy used to come in the changing room after a game, trust me, we’re trying to win the league, we’ve beat someone 3-1 or 4-1, he’s scored one goal, he’ll come in and look up to the TV [shake his head] and go “ohh”.
‘He sits down, [we’d ask] “Ruud, are you alright, what’s wrong?”. And he’ll reply, “nothing, nothing”.
‘Then someone will go, “Thierry has scored two today, Ruud has only scored one, so he’s a goal behind now”.
‘And he’s sitting there devastated, and you can see it. I used to sit there and think this guy is mad, we just won 3-1, he’s scored a banger, set someone up as well, and he’s disappointed.’
Nistelrooy was always in the shadow of Henry and the Dutchman knew it, that is why he was so irritated.