Emirates Stadium

Next Game

Arsenal v Chelsea

Sunday, 26 April 2015, 16:00

Barclays Prem

Stamford Bridge

Last Game

Chelsea 1 - 0 Man Utd

Saturday, 18 April 2015, 17:30

Barclays Prem

Hodgson accepts Ferdinand call

England manager Roy Hodgson respects and understands Rio Ferdinand's decision to slip into international retirement.

Last Updated: 15/05/13 at 17:08 Post Comment

Rio Ferdinand: Has called time on his international career after winning 81 caps

Rio Ferdinand: Has called time on his international career after winning 81 caps

The Manchester United defender announced on Wednesday that he no longer wishes to be considered by his country, after earning 81 caps.

He feels that, at the age of 34, the time is right to step aside and let the next generation of talent cement their standing in the Three Lions fold.

Hodgson has been quick to pay tribute to Ferdinand and the service he has given England since making his debut in 1997 and agrees that it is important to now build towards a bright future.

He told Sky Sports News HD: "I obviously respect the decision, it was good of Rio to call me yesterday before I actually needed to select a squad and tell me that he would rather not be considered and that he thought it was time to retire.

"I think it was fantastic and admirable, and I agree with him that we do have a crop of interesting young players coming on and it's good that he accepts that maybe it's the right time for him to step aside.

"He has been a fantastic servant to the country and a fantastic servant to his club and has had a glittering career. I can only respect his decision and wish him well in the future and thank him for the very kind sentiments that he expressed with regard to the team and our future.

"He has been in contention. He was in contention for the last qualifiers but wasn't able to take part in those. But now that decision has been taken from me and I think it is best to let those things pass now and we should really concentrate on what Rio suggests in his statement - let's concentrate on the future, let's concentrate on the younger players who have had to stand back for a long period of time. It's their opportunity to get hold of an England shirt and show that they are good enough to wear it."

Asked if he had been left surprised by Ferdinand's decision, Hodgson added: "I guess I was. I didn't expect it, no. I don't know if anybody did. It's obviously something that he's thought about himself and he's kept his cards close to his chest. It came as something of a surprise to me when he called me, as it obviously was for the general public today when the news broke.

"But, as I say, I think he has done a fantastic job for both club and country, he's a player that I have always respected and admired, and I respect also the way he has handled this decision to retire. I can only hope that he is able to carry on for a number of years at a very high level and with the quality that he continues to show."

Form

While Ferdinand is bowing out at international level, another seasoned campaigner in the form of Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard remains very much in Hodgson's thoughts.

Ahead of Wednesday's Europa League final which will see Chelsea do battle with Benfica, Hodgson suggested that the 34-year-old could continue to grace a Three Lions jersey for some years yet.

He said: "There is no reason to suggest he can't. We were very unlucky to lose him just before the Euros to injury. Since that time we have had a couple of occasions where we would have liked him to be with us when he couldn't be because of injury, but for the most part he has been with us all the time.

"He has maintained his form throughout the season - he has suffered a few periods where he hasn't been first choice, yet we're here at the end of the season and he's finishing so very strongly.

"I'm looking forward to having him with us when we play our next two matches, and from my conversations with him I know he's looking forward to it too."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

hen a players ability sinks to less than SWP's, but his value accelerates to more than £50m you know you must be in the comments section of an article about a Liverpool player leaving.

goober
Sterling Case For Leaving 'Bigger' Club

I

ll never forget Matt Stanger on Scott Dann on the transfer blog. I've always rated Dann since his time at Brum, and some newspaper had him going to a biggish club after Blackburn's relegation. A ball playing defender, Stanger mused, quoting. Pah. He's a godawful hoofer .

arexrarris
F365's Top Ten Unheralded Players Of The Season

T

o be fair, one of the reasons its so difficult for certain clubs to get close to Real Madrid or Barcelona is once they have a player who is good enough to compete against the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona, they f*ck off, usually to either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

hump3.
Simeone baffled by PL failure

Footer 365

Radamel Falcao could still make Manchester United move permanent

Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev claims Manchester United could still sign Radamel Falcao on a permanent deal.

Liverpool and Standard Chartered extend shirt deal until 2019

Liverpool have renewed their sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered Bank which now runs until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Jurgen Klopp not a West Ham target, says Karren Brady

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady says reports that the club have approached Jurgen Klopp to take over as manager are "nonsense".

Mail Box

Bentaleb Should Be On Unheralded List...

Nabil Bentaleb could be as good as Luka Modric, says one Tottenham fan. We also have lots of mails on Chelsea's style as well as Raheem Sterling's price tag...

Brendan Rodgers Deserves Another Season...

"I am not bashing Chelsea, however..." The Mailbox takes aim at Jose Mourinho once again and under-fire Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers "deserves another season".

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company