RIO Ferdinand admitted he missed the birth of one of his kids as family came second to his football career.
The sportsman, 42, opened up about experiencing fatherhood again with baby son Cree, who wife Kate gave birth to seven weeks ago.
Rio Ferdinand playing for Manchester United
Rio revealed football came first when he was at the height of his career as he was away “75 per cent of the time”.
The former Manchester United ace is also dad to kids Lorenz, 14, Tate, 12, and Tia, nine with late wife Rebecca.
Speaking to The Mid Point podcast with Gabby Logan, he said: “I was probably not there 75 per cent of the time.
“I was on the road travelling around Europe and playing games. When I was there, was I really there mentally? I used that excuse, ‘Oh I’ve got a game’ – I probably left an hour early if I’m being honest.”
Rio with wife Kate and kids Lorenz, Tia and Tate
Rio with baby son Cree
He continued: “The family is the sacrifice. I didn’t go to countless family functions. I missed birthdays, I missed so many things, I missed the birth of one of my kids.”
Rio was a centre-back most well-known for playing for England between 1997 and 2011, as well as United between 2002 and 2014.
However, now Rio has retired, he vowed any job has to revolve around his family life.
He continued: “It’s really made think back, especially compounded with lockdown.