England captaincy important for Rio

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Rio Ferdinand has dismissed Alan Hansen's claim that he should abandon the England cause.

Ferdinand is desperate to put a two-year injury nightmare behind him, having been confirmed as captain ahead of Tuesday night's Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley.

Hansen had claimed that Ferdinand would be better concentrating on his domestic career with Manchester United, but Ferdinand responded: "You can't retire from England. I can't. I respect other people's decisions but I love playing for England. To stop doing it would take a big chunk out of my footballing life. Unless I am physically incapable of doing it, it is something I would not consider."

Yet with his restaurant, on-line magazine and a Twitter account that is followed by 110,000 fans, Ferdinand has laid himself open to the accusation of being sidetracked at a time when he is trying to prove himself on the pitch all over again.

"It's weird and doesn't quite add up," he added. "I am actually putting more time in on the training ground now than I have ever done in my life.

"If people saw the regime I am on they would re-evaluate what they are saying. The stuff I do off the pitch does not consume much time at all.

"I have two lovely kids, who I love spending time with, but we are always travelling, which is when I do other stuff.

"It doesn't infringe on my football. Football is my life."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Alan Hansen
Rio Ferdinand

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