/ Soccer

Rio Ferdinand retires from England duty

Updated: Wednesday, 15 May 2013 08:27 | Comments

Rio Ferdinand earned 81 caps for England
Rio Ferdinand earned 81 caps for England

Defender Rio Ferdinand has announced his retirement from England duty.

The Manchester United defender, who lifted the Premier League title for the sixth time on Sunday, informed Roy Hodgson of his decision, bringing an end to a glittering career with England that saw him earn 81 caps.

Ferdinand made his debut against Cameroon at Wembley in 1997, which at the time made him the youngest ever defender to play for England.

Ferdinand represented England at three World Cups, France '98, Korea/Japan '02 and Germany '06, and only injury immediately prior to the tournament prevented him from making it four in South Africa.

Ferdinand said: "After a great deal of thought, I have decided the time is right for me to retire from international football.

"At the age of 34, I feel it is right for me to stand aside and let the younger players come through, which allows me to concentrate on my club career."

"I feel it is right for me to stand aside and let the younger players come through" - Rio Ferdinand

He continued: "The team looks in great shape and there is an influx of young, talented players coming through the ranks which bodes well for the future.

"I regard it as a great honour and a privilege to have represented my country at every level from U17s upwards.

"I have always been very proud to play for England. I would like to wish Roy and the team all the best for future tournaments.

"A big thank you to all the fans, managers, coaching staff and players that I have worked alongside - the journey has been incredible "

England manager Roy Hodgson said: “It is important to pay tribute to someone of Rio’s stature and the achievements he had in a senior international career with England over 14 years at the highest level.

“To have captained his country, to play at three World Cups and indeed score in one of those, marks him out amongst a very special group of players.

“I appreciated the call from Rio to inform me of his decision, which clearly he had spent much time considering before reaching this point.

"I wish him all the best in his club career, and I’m sure the former managers he played under and every England fan will join me in thanking him for his service.”

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip