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Ferdinand: I picked United over England

Rio Ferdinand has confirmed that he retired from international football due to worries over his Manchester United career.

The 34-year-old said that his decision to remove himself from contention for England duty in May was influenced by fears he was unable to play at his best for both club and country.

“Basically, I could play for another three or four years – or play two or three games for England and be finished in a year. It wasn’t a contest,” he told the Sunday Sun.

“I couldn’t sacrifice my fitness for the sake of a few more England caps. It would not have been fair on United, it would have been a disservice to the club and to England. I’ve always been a team player.”

The defender, who made 81 appearances for England, signed a new one-year contract with United towards the end of last season but confirmed he considered retirement when Alex Ferguson left the club.

“Sir Alex did make me think: Is it time for me to go too?” he added.

Sun 16 June, 2013
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