Rio withdraws from England squad

United and England centre-back Rio Ferdinand has withdrawn from the England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers due to a pre-planned training and medical programme, the 34-year old has announced today. Roy Hodgson has called up Tottenham’s Steven Caulker as a replacement.

There has been much controversy surrounding the defenders England future recently, with many arguing that Ferdinand is the best English defender around at present.

Rio gave the following statement on his official Facebook page:

“I have withdrawn from the England Squad due to a pre-planned training and medical programme that I must follow.

It was important for me to be able to speak with Roy face to face and explain the situation, and one thing I made clear was that my passion and commitment to represent my country is as strong as ever.

It is disappointing that I won’t be able to play a part in the upcoming games but I told Roy that I want to continue to be available for England and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

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