16 May 2013

Ferdinand calls time on England career

6:23 am on 16 May 2013

The England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has announced his retirement from international football.

The decision, in a statement on the United and Football Association websites, came nearly two years after Ferdinand last played for his country in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland on June 4, 2011.

The central defender made his England senior debut in 1997 and won 81 caps but the 34-year-old says he feels it's the right time to stand aside and let the younger players come through, and to concentrate on his club career.

Ferdinand captained England and was a member of three World Cup squads, but was left out of manager Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad for "footballing reasons" amid tensions with Chelsea defender John Terry, who was involved in a racism row with Ferdinand's brother Anton.