May 2013
Daily Mail;5/16/2013, p75
RIO FERDINAND said it was the right time to retire from international football. How so, with a World Cup only a year away? He said the England team was in great shape. Did he pay attention to the second half of the game in Montenegro? He said there was an influx of young, talented players coming through. In his position, Phil Jones aside, would he care to name them? Is there ever a right moment to walk away from England? Not like this. Ferdinand should have gone out shoulder-high, as one of the greatest defenders — or defensive midfield players with a little more imagination on the part of his managers — that this country has produced. Instead, he leaves, if not a pariah, then certainly unlamented. Yesterday's statement will be seen by many as the final act in a game of one-upmanship. It is a messy, petty end to the relationship, as if Ferdinand's priority was getting the final word. Maybe he wanted to show he left England, England did not leave him. Maybe he thinks he wins this way; but what has he won, really? In San Marino and Montenegro, the last two England internationals, fans heaped abuse upon him. That becomes as much the last word as this announcement and, now unresolved, will fester.


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