Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand retires from England duty

Image: Rio Ferdinand: Has decided to end his England career

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has called time on his England career with 81 caps to his name.

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England boss Hodgson was quick to heap praise on Ferdinand, despite the defender never featuring in his side. He said: "It is important to pay tribute to someone of Rio's stature and the achievements he had in a senior international career with England over 14 years at the highest level. "To have captained his country, to play at three World Cups and indeed score in one of those, marks him out amongst a very special group of players. "I appreciated the call from Rio to inform me of his decision, which clearly he had spent much time considering before reaching this point. "I wish him all the best in his club career, and I'm sure the former managers he played under and every England fan will join me in thanking him for his service."

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