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 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.”
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.
“There is no way out for Kate or for myself. There is no way out of this. You’ve got to deal with every situation.”
He also said he’s become more loving after the death of his wife Rebecca in 2015, and his mum two years later.
The pundit continued: “I think what happened to us with the kids losing their mum and then losing their nan, I definitely had to re-evaluate the way I was especially before Kate came.
“I’ve become definitely more loving, more open and trying to encourage them to talk more.
“You show love in lots of different ways. I was always messing around with them but it’s more talking about stuff and telling them you love them. I used to do a lot of loving but I didn’t tell them.”
View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/2349861/rio-ferdinand-kate-family-football-first-cree/