Missing out on England spot made me stronger, says Rio

By Michael Owen
rio ferdinand

Ferdinand missed out on a place in England's Euro 2000 squad

Rio Ferdinand says he will offer his support to those players who fail to make the cut for Fabio Capello’s 23-man squad heading for South Africa.

Ferdinand, who himself just missed out on playing in Euro 2000, has said he will personally call the seven players who miss out on the chance to play in the World Cup next month.

“I’ve been there,” said the England captain. “I’ve had that talk, that conversation where they say you’re ‘not experienced enough’, ‘not good enough’, or however they want to dress it up.

“You are not getting that chance to go on the plane and to have that said to you is not a nice thing, but I’ve been there and I’ve got the experience to deal with that.

“When the time comes I’m sure we will deal with it in the right way but the manager is top-drawer and I’m sure he will sort it out.

“I was left out for Euro 2000 and it took me that summer to get over it,” he added. “I was devastated but I went back to training, was a better professional, trained harder and became a better player and I say that for the younger players [left out this time] to probably do that as well.

“Being left out was probably a blessing in disguise. It made me re-evaluate myself and the way I looked at football.

“I probably hadn’t given the game the respect it deserved; that experience made me a better professional, so I should thank Kevin Keegan for that. The guys have to turn it into a positive.”

The England squad, who are currently training in Austria ahead of their final game against Japan tomorrow, will find out who will be on the plane to South Africa on Monday, with the England boss announcing his 23-man squad to the public the following day.

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