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Rio: England retirement not an option

12 Oct 2010 - 07:42:02

Rio Ferdinand has hit back at suggestions that he should retire from England duty rather than retake the international armband.

Head coach Fabio Capello has confirmed the fit-again Manchester United defender will captain his side in the European Championship qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old has not featured for his country since May, having missed the World Cup finals in South Africa due to a knee injury sustained in training.

In his absence, Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has worn the captain's armband, but Capello has decided to return Ferdinand to the role.

Ferdinand has vowed to win over his doubters, including former Scotland defender turned pundit Alan Hansen, who recently suggested that he should concentrate on his club career.

"You can't retire from England. I can't," responded Ferdinand.

"I respect other people's decisions but I love playing for England.

"To stop doing it would take a big chunk out of my footballing life.

"Unless I am physically incapable of doing it, it is something I would not consider."

Meanwhile, Ferdinand claims he is fit and ready to silence his critics following two years of injury problems.

"The scrutiny comes with the job," he added. "People get uptight about it; I am not stupid. I have been injured and have been out for a while, so I have to prove myself again.

"I have been at the top level for 12 years, with people saying great things about me. Now I have to do it again. That is not a problem."


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