The 34-year-old's forthcoming testimonial against Sevilla is testament to the 11 years of service he has given United since he arrived from Leeds.
Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have come in at considerable expense in recent seasons, while Jonny Evans is now a regular, and Ferdinand is constantly managing his troublesome back.
But he made 34 appearances last season and has no plans to ease up under new manager David Moyes.
"It was the same last season," Ferdinand said. "There is a great history and it is part of the club with young players coming through and establishing themselves and I am all for that, but I want to play games.
"I want to play for Man United and the young lads are going to have to fight to get in the team just like I did when I was a kid.
"Now it is roles reversed but it is obvious if you want to win things you have to have rivalry within the squad and it is done the right way here - whoever gets the shirt is supported by everyone."
Ferdinand has been impressed by Moyes' willingness to learn from Old Trafford old hands Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville, both of whom are now part of the coaching staff.
He said: "He seems so far to be very open. He seems like he wants to get immersed in the club and he wants to find out about the history of the club.
"He is talking to senior players about different aspects of the club and what we have done and working out where we have been before he got there - adding his own beliefs and ideas to what we have got as a championship-winning team is a good platform to work from."