Wembley Stadium

Next Game

England v Slovenia

Saturday, 15 November 2014, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group E

Last Game

Estonia 0 - 1 England

Sunday, 12 October 2014, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group E

Rio returns to England squad

Rio Ferdinand has been recalled to the England squad for this month's World Cup qualifying double-header.

Last Updated: 15/03/13 at 08:55 Post Comment

Rio Ferdinand: Set to start for England for first time since June 2011

Rio Ferdinand: Set to start for England for first time since June 2011

The Manchester United centre-half, whose last cap came against Switzerland in June 2011, is among a 26-man squad picked to take on San Marino and Montenegro in Group H.

And Roy Hodgson has given every indication Ferdinand will be back in the side in Serravalle on 22 March.

"A player of Rio's calibre and of Rio's age you don't necessarily bring into the squad as back-up," he said. "You bring them in because you hope they're going to make the team better.

"It wouldn't take too much guesswork to work out that now he's in the squad he's there in order to play, not to make up numbers."

Asked whether he thought Ferdinand could play further games for England, Hodgson said: "I'm sure he could. In the past I've chosen other players. At the moment I think Rio is the right man to help us in these games and probably games ahead but I can't make guarantees for the future.

"If Rio Ferdinand is still playing like he is now in 2014 he's going to be a major candidate for a place in the squad."

Hodgson hopes any potential differences between Ferdinand and Ashley Cole can be resolved after the pair clashed following the John Terry race row.

Hodgson said: "Let's hope (there are no issues) I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

"I would be unhappy, I suppose, if there were tensions between players in a group.

"But we are talking about two very experienced professional players here and we are talking about the England football team. I don't envisage any problems."

Hodgson left the player out of his plans for Euro 2012, citing footballing reasons rather than an ongoing court case involving Ferdinand's brother Anton and Terry.

As recently as February Hodgson responded tetchily to questions about Ferdinand's impressive United form, claiming England had "moved on", but injuries to Phil Jagielka and Phil Jones have forced the manager to rethink.

West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster is also named just days after coming out of international retirement. He will act as back-up to regular No 1 Joe Hart along with Celtic's Fraser Forster.

And Tottenham pair Scott Parker and Michael Dawson have also been called up after long absences - nine months for Parker and almost two years in Dawson's case.

England are away at San Marino on 22 March, four days before they take on current group leaders Montenegro in Podgorica.

Squad: Forster, Foster, Hart, Baines, Cahill, Cole, Dawson, Ferdinand, Johnson, Smalling, Walker, Carrick, Cleverley, Gerrard, Lampard, Lennon, Milner, Osman, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Parker, Walcott, Young, Defoe, Rooney, Sturridge, Welbeck.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e doesn't need a caoch. He needs a bus. A bloody big one, that he can park across the goal line. And when he gets one, he can do us a favour and let us know where we can buy one from as well.

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: No defence coach

Y

ou are wrong Per, thats the right way the play. Its everyone elses' fault that it doesnt work.

delboy
Mertesacker urges style change

A

s it's panto season coming soon, let me be the first Oh yes you do

munchie
Rodgers: No defence coach

Footer 365

Premier League: Ronald Koeman looking at European challenge sparked by Dusan Tadic

Ronald Koeman believes Dusan Tadic can spark Southampton into a challenge for Champions League football next season.

Premier League: Manuel Pellegrini confident Joe Hart will sign new Manchester City deal

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says he is confident that England goalkeeper Joe Hart will sign a new contract.

Premier League: Garry Monk puts Stoke furore behind him

Swansea boss Garry Monk is keen to focus on weekend opponents Leicester after a stormy week for him personally.

Mail Box

'Goals Like That Can Make You Pregnant'

Those being sniffy about Erik Lamela's rabona are given short shrift in the afternoon mailbox, where criticism of Brendan Rodgers is smashed out of the park...

Does David De Gea Need Competition?

It would certainly be a good idea to give Victor Valdes a contract, while we have more mails on Brendan Rodgers, Arsene Wenger, the rabona and mailbox gripes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property