Man Utd’s Rio Ferdinand still has plenty to offer England looks at Rio Ferdinand chances of receiving a call-up from England boss Roy Hodgson for Euro 2012

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Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has 81 caps for England Photo: The Sport Review

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Sir Alex Ferguson has tipped Roy Hodgson to take Rio Ferdinand to the Euro 2012 – and it would be a smart move by England’s new manager.

The United centre-half has clearly lost a yard or two of pace but his positional sense is unrivalled and if you want someone to keep their head when all around him are losing theirs, Ferdinand is your man.

There have been calls for Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to go to the European championship and Ferdinand should be left at home – but that suggestion is baffling.

The Red Devils stalwart has been more impressive then the two youngsters this season with Jones and Smalling still prone to costly errors.

It was the former Fulham defender who lost Vincent Kompany for the goal at the Etihad that sent Manchester City back to the top of the table, and Jones has been so inconsistent at centre-back this season that Ferguson has been forced to play him at right-back and in midfield.

Of course Smalling and Jones will become a world-class centre-back pairing at United but if Rio is keeping them out of the team then why should they play for England ahead of him?

There is also a sentimental side to an argument for his inclusion – Ferdinand has had terrible luck with international tournaments over the years.

He couldn’t go to Euro 2004 because of an eight-month ban for missing a drugs test and an injury days before the first game against the USA ruled Ferdinand out of captaining England at the last World Cup.

All of this might be moot anyway because if Hodgson takes John Terry with him then Rio could say “enough is enough” and realise it’s time to retire from the international scene.

Fabio Capello humiliatingly stripped Ferdinand of the England captaincy to hand it back to Terry, and now with the Chelsea captain facing a court case for allegedly racially abusing Rio’s brother Anton, it is hard to see them getting along.

Hodgson should just cut his losses with Terry because as he showed with his reckless red card against Barcelona in the Champions League final, he is a ticking time bomb and he can’t be trusted.

Ferdinand though, aside from missing a drugs test, can usually be relied on – provided he is fit.

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