Total Rio-call

It wouldn't really make for a decent sci-fi thriller would it? Nonetheless, the call-up of Rio Ferdinand to the England squad has surprised his manager Alex Ferguson.

Total Rio-call

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Andy

March 15th, 2013

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The 34-year old former captain of the national side is deciding whether or not to join up with his England team-mates ahead of two World Cup qualifiers against San Marino next Friday and Montenegro the Tuesday after – something of a revelation to his club manager.

“I was as surprised as anyone when I heard,” said the Scot. “He has to make sure he is going to be OK in terms of the number of games he plays. We have been doing that for two years and it has worked.”

“We have to look at all these things before Rio decides.”

Rio last played for England in a 2-2 draw against Switzerland in June 2011 – but was famously omitted by Roy Hodgson from the Euro 2012 squad for “footballing reasons”.

The England boss stresses that there’s nothing “sinister” about Rio’s exile from the team, and that it’s his current form which has seen him called back into the fold. A form which, some would argue, has been all the better for his not being in the England side. Rio’s revival means that he stands to pick up his 82nd and 83rd caps over the next two games.

“It’s a no brainer. We need a good centre-half. It’s not really much more complicated than that,” said Hodgson as the squad was announced.

“He’s playing well, his team are doing extremely well and this is the moment to select him because he deserves it on current form.

“Hopefully he can help us win the next two matches because that’s the most important thing.”

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