Rio Ferdinand has stepped up to the job of England captain after Fabio Capello stripped John Terry of the honour following damaging allegations about his private life.
Terry met with Capello and his assistant Franco Baldini at Wembley on Friday following allegations of an affair with the former girlfriend of England team-mate Wayne Bridge - also a former club-mate at Chelsea - and the Italian decided the Chelsea skipper could not go on as England's leader.
Ferdinand, as vice-captain, now takes on the captain's armband but has experienced some desperate times in the game too, not least when he was banned for eight months for missing a drugs test and missed Euro 2004 as a result.
Now the 31-year-old knows, fitness permitting, he will lead England into their World Cup opener against the United States in Rustenburg on June 12 and, should they progress that far, the final in Johannesburg on July 11.
For almost his entire career, Ferdinand has been compared to another West Ham idol, Bobby Moore, now he has the chance to follow him into immortality.
"When I chose John Terry as captain, I also selected a vice-captain and also named a third choice," said Capello last night. There is no reason to change this decision."
Summoned to Wembley by Capello to explain himself following the lurid headlines which were unleashed once the "super-injunction" covering his private life was lifted just over a week ago, Terry's meeting with his boss lasted less than 15 minutes.
"As a captain with the team, John Terry has displayed extremely positive behaviour," said Capello.
"However, I have to take into account other considerations and what is best for all of the England squad. After much thought I have made the decision that it will be best for me to take the captaincy away from John Terry.
"What is best for all of the England team has inspired my choice and John Terry was notified first."
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