Ferdinand calls time on England career

Centre Back - Rio FerdinandRio Ferdinand has confirmed his retirement from England duty in order to concentrate on Manchester United.

Ferdinand confirmed his decision to make himself unavailable for international duty on Wednesday, with England boss Roy Hodgson set to name his squad for the upcoming friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil on Thursday.

The United defender withdrew from the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro in March due to an “intricate and pre-planned training regime” but it had been thought he may feature in the friendly fixtures this summer.

However, Ferdinand has made the decision to end his England career in order to concentrate on his club.

“After a great deal of thought, I have decided the time is right for me to retire from international football,” said Ferdinand, who made 81 appearances for England between 1997 and 2001.

“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.”

The veteran centre-half is expected to sign a new deal at Old Trafford this summer, with David Moyes set to replace Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager.

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