You'll feel like The Beatles! Ferdinand prepares new signings for United's world tour
Rio Ferdinand has told new signings Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell that going on tour with Manchester United will make them feel 'like The Beatles'.
Kagawa and Powell, who cost United a combined £16million from Borussia Dortmund and Crewe, are expected to make their first appearances for United on the current trip to South Africa and China.
It kicks off with a game against AmaZulu FC in Durban on Wednesday, with Ferdinand captaining a United squad that flew into South Africa on Monday missing a number of top players involved in Euro 2012 and the Olympic Games.
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That is likely to give Kagawa and Powell an early chance to shine, and Ferdinand knows from experience how shocked they will be at United's popularity abroad.
'When I signed it was just before a tour,' he said. 'You just think to yourself "how can it be this big on the other side of the planet?", but that's the club it is and it's great to be a part of that.
'I remember talking to Nicky Butt about how big United are over in Malaysia. When we went anywhere, it was like The Beatles coming into town.
'With United it's crazy in Asia. You can't leave the hotel in downtime or leisure time because there are just so many fans there. You'd be ushered back in or need security to go out.
'It's so much easier when you live with people on tour, you get to understand them better. It's vital for a new signing, being on the training ground with the rest of the squad.
'As a senior player, you have a responsibility to help the younger players. It's important how you conduct yourself around the hotel and how you apply yourself in training.
New boys: Kagawa (above) and Powell (below, centre)
'That's the biggest thing I noticed when I joined. The application of players and intensity of training was so much different to anywhere I'd been before.
'We've signed Nick Powell, who's going to be a promising young player, and Shinji Kagawa, and it's going to be cool having him in the team.
'He's trained with the lads and looks really sharp. I've seen him play a couple of times for Dortmund, and in the German Cup Final as well, and he's always impressed me.
'He's got a fair understanding of the English language, which will make his life easier. He probably already speaks more English than Anderson, so he's doing well!
'Nick Powell scored a ridiculous goal in the play-off finals, so he looks a really good player as well.'
After Durban, United face Ajax Cape Town on Saturday before flying on to China where they play Shanghai Shenhua next week.
Ferdinand added: 'It's important we don't lose a game in pre-season because we're playing for Manchester United. You can't pretend it doesn't mean anything. It doesn't work like that. At this club, each individual player wants to do well for himself and prove to the manager that he's capable.
New era: Kagawa and Powell will hope to impress Ferguson on tour
'The games in pre-season are where you find your match sharpness. You just want to get out there are play, even just putting on the new kit, simple things like that, how it looks and feels. It's good we're going to places like South Africa and China, where we have lots of fans. They can see the new signings as well.
'It's nice to be back. When you see the fixtures you can start planning the season. You start working things out in your head; chomping at the bit to get back into it, then the games start coming thick and fast. The way the season ended, the sooner we get back into it the better.'
As United continue to be linked with Sao Paulo playmaker Lucas Moura and Everton defender Leighton Baines, Ferdinand admitted that the players are just as much in the dark as supporters over Sir Alex Ferguson's transfer plans.
'We're excited by the new signings, just like fans,' he added. 'You walk down the street and people ask who we're signing but we want to know as well. I'm always asking the management about their plans.
'The manager has got all the answers in his back pocket but he won't tell us. We're like fans in that respect and we just wait for the next person to come through the door.'
Meanwhile, United have retained their title as the world's most valuable sports team, according to an annual top 50 list published by Forbes.
The club were valued at £1.42billion, well ahead of second-placed Real Madrid.