15 May, 2013 - 09:10

Rio Ferdinand retired from international football

Rio Ferdinand retired from international football

Manchester United veteran centre-back Rio Ferdinand announced his retirement from international football.

The 34-year-old has made his international debut back in 1997 and has since won 81 caps for England national team, scoring three goals. However the latter years of his international career have been marred with controversy, as Ferdinand fell out of favour with Chelsea defender John Terry and current England manager Roy Hodgson.

Hodgson revealed he appreciated Ferdinand’s decision to call him and explain why he had chosen to hang up his boots. England manager said: “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.

“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,” he added.

Ferdinand said in FA statement: “After a great deal of thought, I have decided the time is right for me to retire from international football.
“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 U17s 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.”

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Author: Basil Naumov

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