Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has decided to retire from international competition with England to focus on his training with Manchester United.
Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement from United a week ago, and he was quickly followed by midfielder Paul Scholes. Ferdinand will not be leaving Manchester United, but he doesn’t have any plans of playing for England’s national team any longer.
The 34-year-old’s international career comes to an abrupt end after a fall out in March. England manager Roy Hodgson called on Ferdinand for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro but the United star quickly withdrew from the matches due to a “pre-planned fitness program” with his club.
The English Football Association released a statement shortly after his decision to retire from the national team as Ferdinand explained that his motives are solely based on his desire to concentrate on his club career.
“After a great deal of thought, I have decided the time is right for me to retire from international football,” Ferdinand explained in the statement. “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.”
Though he won’t be suiting up for England ever again, Rio Ferdinand was honored to have the opportunity to represent his country over the years.
“I regard it as a great honor and a privilege to have represented my country at every level from Under-17s upwards,” he added. “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.”
His attention will now return to Old Trafford where United recently secured their 20th Premier League title. Sir Alex Ferguson managed his last match at the historic stadium on May 12th against Swansea City and Ferdinand netted his first goal of the season.
United went on to win 2-1 over Swansea City in Ferguson’s going out party at Old Trafford and the club now has one Premier League match left. They will face West Brom this upcoming Sunday to finish out the season.
Do you believe Rio Ferdinand is making the right choice by retiring from international play to focus on his career at Manchester United?
[Image via Austin Osuide]