Man Utd star Rio Ferdinand ends his career with England
Rio Ferdinand, who has capped 81 times for The Three Lions, last appeared under an England jersey in 2011. The veteran just recently celebrated his sixth Premier League title with Manchester United.
In a statement released on the Football Association’s official website, Ferdinand said that his decision to retire from international football is a result of his desire to concentrate on his career with Manchester United.
“After a great deal of thought, I have decided the time is right for me to retire from international football,” Ferdinand said. “At the age of 34, I feel it is right for me to stand aside and let the younger players come through, which allows me to concentrate on my club career.
“The team looks in great shape and there is an influx of young, talented players coming through the ranks which bodes well for the future. I regard it as a great honour and a privilege to have represented my country at every level from Under-17s upwards. I have always been very proud to play for England. I would like to wish Roy and the team all the best for future tournaments.
“A big thank you to all the fans, managers, coaching staff and players that I have worked alongside - the journey has been incredible “
England coach Roy Hodgson praised the defender for his services to the country. Hodgson said that Ferdinand should be proud of the achievements he has acquired with England in his 14-year long career.
“It is important to pay tribute to someone of Rio's stature and the achievements he had in a senior international career with England over 14 years at the highest level,” Hodgson said.
“To have captained his country, to play at three World Cups and indeed score in one of those, marks him out amongst a very special group of players. I appreciated the call from Rio to inform me of his decision, which clearly he had spent much time considering before reaching this point.
“I wish him all the best in his club career, and I'm sure the former managers he played under and every England fan will join me in thanking him for his service.”
Rio Ferdinand captured his first appearance for England when he was 19 years old against Cameroon. Consequently, the defender cemented his place in the first-team and had the privilege to represent England in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups.