Ferguson: Ferdinand is still one of Premier League’s best defenders

Sir Alex Ferguson believes England should include Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand in their squad for Euro 2012

rio ferdinand
Manchester Untied defender Rio Ferdinand has won 81 caps for England Photo: The Sport Review

rio ferdinand

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Rio Ferdinand is still one of the Premier League’s best defenders and his experience would be a vital asset to England’s squad for Euro 2012 this summer.

Ferdinand has not made an appearance for England this season despite the 33-year-old playing a central role in Manchester United’s bid to retain their Premier League crown.

“Rio is as good as any centre-half in England,” said Ferguson. “Him and John Terry are the only experienced defenders England have got.

“All the rest are young. But he has not been in the squad and that is a decision for the next England manager.

“I would take him for his experience alone.”

Ferguson has relied on Ferdinand after United skipper Nemanja Vidić suffered a season-ending injury in December.

And the former Leeds United defender has helped the Red Devils youngsters such as Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling settle into the first-team.

“Rio has had to change his game. He can’t rely on his pace the way he used to as a kid,” added Ferguson.

“So his positioning has improved and he plays a bit deeper than he used. Now his experience is a vital part of his game.

“He has had a lot of responsibility with Vidić being out. His form is his most consistent for a long time.

“Even though he was more of an athlete in his younger days he would make the odd mistake through his casualness. He had that wee trait in him.

“Now you don’t get any mistakes. We don’t train him every day. We have a quiet day as we call it.”

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