Ferdinand retires from international football

London, May 15 (IANS) England centre-back Rio Ferdinand has decided to retire from international football and concentrate on his club career with the Premier League giants Manchester United.

“At 34, I feel it is right for me to stand aside and let the younger players come through, which allows me to concentrate on my club career. 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,” Ferdinand said in a statement Wednesday, reports Xinhua.

“I regard it as a great honour and a privilege to have represented my country at every level from U-17 upwards,” said the defender, who has won 81 caps for England and scored three goals.

The last game Ferdinand played for England was in 2011 under former manager Fabio Capello. He was recalled to the squad for the first time in March under current manager Roy Hodgson, after almost two years out of the England fold, for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, though subsequently he pulled out of the squad due to fitness concerns.

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