I'm still in charge, says Rio

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Rio Ferdinand fully expects to retain the England captaincy upon his international return.

The Manchester United defender was named captain before the World Cup but has been out of the international fold since suffering a knee injury at England's tournament training base.

Steven Gerrard stepped in to fill the shoes of the 31-year-old in South Africa, and has since won plenty of plaudits for his commanding performances as skipper as England cruised past Bulgaria and Switzerland in their Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Liverpool ace Gerrard was Fabio Capello’s original captain when he took the England post two-and-a-half-years ago, and John Terry has since occupied the prestigious spot.

But Capello has often commented that does not see the captaincy as an important issue; raising doubts that Ferdinand would displace the Liverpool captain as the Three Lions leader when he returns to fitness.

He said: "For me the performance of the player is important, not the armband.

"It is not a priority for me. The armband is not important."

But, when asked if he believed he would be handed the captaincy again, Ferdinand told the Sun: "I think Capello said that a while ago.

"I think he answered it the last time the squad were together."

He added: "Leading your country at a tournament like that is an honour. I did not get to fulfil that."

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Premier League
Manchester United
Steven Gerrard
Rio Ferdinand

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