Rio Ferdinand raised a few eyebrows after declining to join up with England last week, but former Three Lions defender Sol Campbell believes the Manchester United man did nothing wrong.
The two centre-backs built a rock-solid partnership on the international scene in the first half of the 2000s – particularly impressing in the 2002 World Cup.
And Campbell – leaping to the defence of his old comrade – insists Ferdinand faces a tough balancing act between England and Manchester United.
“Rio has not snubbed Roy Hodgson,” he said.
“He said he would love to be involved in the next game. It’s just a crucial moment for both England and his club Manchester United, so it’s difficult for him to decide.
“It’s physical, international football and the travelling is demanding. Can Rio play for England again? People need to talk and work it out.”
As well as an 11-year career with England, Campbell was an ever-present first-team player for both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.
And the 38-year-old is best-placed to reveal the planning in advance needed to perform both duties at the same time.
“Playing for England can put a lot of demands on your body – then you have to get back and play for your club,” he added.
“If you haven’t put that into your routine and no one has told you that they are thinking of putting you in a month ago, it’s hard to do it.”
Picture courtesy of football.ua, via WikiCommons, with thanks.