Rio Ferdinand has revealed he turned down the chance to resume his England career in an effort to prolong his playing days at Manchester United, the
Ferdinand added that by not turning out for England, he believes he will add an extra few years onto his lifespan at Old Trafford. “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,” the 34-year-old said.
He continued: “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 was called back into the England squad by Roy Hodgson after a few years’ absence, only to withdraw shortly after and later announce his retirement from international football.
The former West Ham and Leeds centre-back also revealed that the news of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement led him to question his own future. Ferguson stepped down after guiding United to the league title after 26 years at the helm, with David Moyes leaving Everton to fill the vacancy.
“Sir Alex leaving did make me think: ‘Is it time for me to go too?’” Ferdinand said, adding that he also questioned his future when his back injury was at its worst. “ 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.”
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