|Tuesday, 25 September 2012 10:53|
LONDON: Rio Ferdinand (pic) told Roy Hodgson now that John Terry has gone it is time to bring him back into the England manager's plans, Daily Star reported.
The path looks clear for the Manchester United centerback to return after Terry announced his international retirement on Sunday, the eve of his FA race charge hearing.
Ferdinand last lined up for England in June of last year, when he partnered Terry in the heart of the back line.
But the fall-out from Terry’s bust-up with Rio’s brother Anton Ferdinand at Queens Park Rangers last October made it impossible for to pick the United and Chelsea stars in the same squad.
Ferdinand, 33, has never given up on adding to his 81 caps and despite being snubbed by previous boss Fabio Capello – who gave him the England captaincy temporarily before handing it back to Terry – has always insisted he has no plans to retire.
“He would love to play for his country again,” a source close to Ferdinand said this morning.
On Sunday, Hodgson saw Ferdinand put in a commanding display in United’s 2-1 victory at Liverpool. Prior to Euro 2012, Hodgson tried to explain why he did not select Ferdinand for his squad, even when centerback Gary Cahill was injured just before the tournament.
“When you’ve played 81 times for your country, but only a couple of times in the last few years and had a lot of injuries, I don’t think those players go as travelers,” he said at the time.
“I had to be convinced, if I was going to take Rio in my 23, he’d be one of the fi rst names on the team sheet.
“I couldn’t be convinced that would be the case.”
Ferdinand has completed United’s last three matches, all of them victories, and Hodgson does not have the same excuse this time to ignore the defender's claims when he names his squad for the World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Poland on Oct 12 and Oct 16.
England and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart this morning heaped praise on Terry following his retirement.
“He is a fantastic player to play with.He’s been a great leader on the pitch and I’ve enjoyed being part of the squads with him,"said Hart.
“It’s hard to come up with an answer to say what makes a good captain.
“But on the field, everything he had inside him, he gave.”