Rio Ferdinand, the centre back that has been at the very top of the English game for over 15 years, breaking transfer fee's, claiming individual accolades and significantly contributing to his teams trophies. All club honours have came at Manchester Utd, 5 Premier League titles and a Champions League title notably. Rio had been ever present for England for 13 years, racking up an impressive 81 caps for his country. Rio's last game for the national side however was over 2 years ago, whether through internal politics, injuries, form or maybe all three to a certain degree. He has never been far from the headlines, often for the right reasons, however the last two years has brought much more criticism of Rio on the pitch as well as off it.
There can be no denying the quality of the commanding centre half, smashing club transfer fee's at both Leeds Utd and Manchester Utd, however at the grand old footballing age of 34, the injuries are creeping up on Rio combining with a slight decline in pace, the questions surrounding whether to move on from the reliance on Rio has increased. Clearly he does have a 'plan' of looking after his fitness as his form has picked up after Christmas as Manchester Utd have set about sureing up the leaky defence with Rio being at the heart of Man Utd back four. When this 'plan' results in pulling out of any competitive match for England, that is where i cannot understand or accept. Is this Rio letting his ego about being dropped at the expense of John Terry for the last two years, getting the better of him, i'd like to think not but lets face it, brand Rio that he has created with his television shows, business ventures and image promotion using twitter is, i guess, only natural to make a man feel superior, that amount of success and popularity certainly makes it almost impossible to inflame any person's ego. So does this make Rio no different to the majority of the highly paid footballers living a life where they are made to feel above and beyond a normal everyday person. The top end footballers in the world face extreme amounts of publicity and this must make anybody feel invincible and much more important than they actually are.
That argument about Rio being 'victim', if its at all possible to say that, of the celebrity footballer lifestyle can definitely challenged by the view that Rio is perhaps behaving even worse than the majority of footballers nowadays. Lets get this straight, Rio isn't the first or last to reject their national team but his recent controversies, cowardly assault on Torres, ironic applaud to the referee in the Madrid game, now the reject of an England call up because of a supposed conflict with his fitness plan, has brought a lot of 'hate' as Rio would call it, upon himself due to his arrogance in recent situations. Rio may not realise it but he is being so disrespectful to all the England followers that spend great amounts of money on following their country by hiding behind this so called plan. Are nights out with One direction part of the plan, are long haul flights to do some punditry on the game he should be playing in, part of the plan. How can he justify his complete disregard for representing his country, considering it has been such a feature in his life in the last 15 years.
Personally, any player that rejects their national team unless for a reason that is totally above football, should never be even in consideration for picking again. I'm afraid, as good as he still as, as passionate as he once was for England, its thank you and good bye. Rio seems to think he is above playing in qualifiers for England and naively thought the England faithful would bow down and accept his illogical excuse.
Thanks for reading, what do you think? has Rio disgraced England or is he acting like most top class footballers nowadays putting club before country, has this situation blown way out hand, would love to hear your views on this.