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Monday, 08 September 2014, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

Rio: Why I rejected England

Rio Ferdinand has admitted he rejected the chance to rejuvenate his England career because it could have harmed his form at Manchester United.

Last Updated: 16/06/13 at 15:03 Post Comment

Rio Ferdinand: Rejected the chance to rejuvenate his England career as it could

Rio Ferdinand: Rejected the chance to rejuvenate his England career as it could

The Red Devils' defender turned down an invitation from Roy Hodgson to re-join the international ranks earlier this year.

The 34-year-old could have been in England's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

But Ferdinand told the Sunday Sun: "Basically, I could play for another three or four years or play two or three games for England and be finished in a year.

"It wasn't a contest. I couldn't sacrifice my fitness for the sake of a few more England caps.

"It would not have been fair on United, it would have been a disservice to the club and to England."

Ferdinand has won 81 international caps, the last one arriving in June 2011 against Switzerland.

Recalling his chronic back injury, he added: "Two or three years ago people were saying I was finished and I remember those dark days.

"I was in a depressive state, I will admit that. They weren't easy times and I couldn't play to the highest standard.

"You think negative thoughts. I had 18 months of being injured on and off."

Ferdinand also revealed he considered quitting the game when Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement.

He said: "Sir Alex leaving did make me think: Is it time for me to go too?"

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