Rio: England hurt spurred me on

England captain Rio Ferdinand has urged those players who fail to make the final World Cup squad to come back stronger next time.

Ferdinand, 31, missed out on selection for Euro 2000 after being cut from a provisional squad by then coach Kevin Keegan.

The Manchester United defender will be part of the final 23-man squad named by current coach Fabio Capello for next month's tournament in South Africa when it is named on Tuesday.

But Ferdinand has a message to those players whose dreams are crushed when the provisional 30-man squad is whittled down by the Italian coach.

Reports claim the likes of Scott Parker, Darren Bent, Michael Dawson, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Joe Cole are most at risk of missing the cut ahead of Sunday's final warm-up game against Japan.

Speaking about his own heartbreak, Ferdinand explained:"I didn't speak to anybody. My pride was hurt that I had to sit and watch the team play. I was feeling in my head that I should be there.

"If I hadn't had the mental strength, it could have knocked me sideways.

"Up until that point I didn't have a clear picture. I was just going through my career and if I had carried on that way I would probably be playing for a lower league team now.

"I wouldn't be here now. I took stock. It was the embarrassment of walking down the road, knowing that people were thinking: 'He's not in the England squad anymore."

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