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The centre-back of Manchester United, Rio Ferdinand, has announced his retirement from International football. Ferdinand took this decision in order to prolong his club career.

Yesterday, Ferdinand rang up the England boss Roy Hodgson and made him aware of his decision.

Ferdinand hadn’t been a regular member of the England squad in the last couple of years. Recently, he was recalled into the side for the World Cup qualifying matches against Montenegro and San Marino, but, he had withdrawn his name due to personal reasons.

The 34 years old centre-back has been in fantastic form for his club Manchester United in the ongoing season. He has been a regular starter for the Red Devils and has played a big role in their Premier League victory this season.

He is supposed to sign a new 1 year deal with United at the end of this season.

Announcing his retirement, Ferdinand said, “It was a great honour for me to represent England at both the junior and senior levels. I enjoyed every second of my international career. But, now, I think the time has come for me to retire from international football.”

“It’s not an easy decision especially for a passionate man like me. I have always given priority to playing for my country. But, the age gets on every player. After passing 30, you have to take some decisions. You have to give up something in order to continue playing at the highest level.”

Ferdinand had made his debut for England in November 1997 by playing in a friendly match against Cameroon. He was only 19 years of age at that time.

Ferdinand featured for England in a total of 81 matches and found the net 3 times.  The last time that he had played in England jersey was against Switzerland in June 2011.