Rio Ferdinand has said that he turned down the chance to return to the England squad for fear that it would affect his form and standing at Man United, reports Sky
The 34-year-old has struggled for form and fitness at Old Trafford recently, and there have been media reports that David Moyes considers this the right time to start the search for Ferdinand’s long-term replacement.
The former West Ham and Leeds defender said: “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. 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 earned his sixth Premier League winners’ medal with United when the club regained the crown from city rivals Man City this season, and Ferdinand believes that adding to that is much more important than adding another few caps to his England collection.
He has won 14 trophies in all since signing for United from Leeds for around £30m in 2002, a deal which made him the world’s most expensive defender for the second time.
He had joined Leeds for £18m to initially take that record, but lost it to Lillian Thuram in 2001. His move to Old Trafford saw him regain the record, and he has made 297 appearances for the Red Devils in that time, scoring seven goals.
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