Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Ferdinand put career before country

Rio Ferdinand, pictured, considered hanging up his boots when Sir Alex Ferguson retired
Rio Ferdinand, pictured, considered hanging up his boots when Sir Alex Ferguson retired

Rio Ferdinand has revealed he put career before country when he decided not to play for England again.

The 34-year-old Manchester United defender could have answered England manager Roy Hodgson's call but instead chose to extend his playing career.

Ferdinand told the Sunday Sun: "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 also revealed he considered quitting the game when Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement.

He said: "Sir Alex leaving did make me think: Is it time for me to go too?"

Ferdinand also revealed just how much his chronic back injury affected him.

"Two or three years ago people were saying I was finished and I remember those dark days," he added.

"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."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre