England captain John Terry is convinced that his long-term central defensive partner's international career is not over, and that Rio Ferdinand will be back as soon as he is fit enough to play under Fabio Capello.
Ferdinand's Three Lions future has been cast into doubt after he was overlooked by the Italian coach due to a lack of match fitness, instead opting to call-up his Manchester United teammate Phil Jones for Friday's Euro 2012 encounter.
"I am 100 per cent sure that Rio can come back," said Terry. "He has not been fully fit but when he plays he is still one of the best defenders in the world without a doubt.
"He is also still playing for one of the best clubs in the world."
As Terry and Co. prepare for tonight's Group G clash with Montenegro, they know that anything but a defeat will see England through to the Euro 2012 finals.
And having seen his Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard bounce back from media criticism after being dropped to the bench for both club and country in recent weeks when he scored a hat-trick at Bolton last Sunday, Terry is hoping Ferdinand will be able to come back just as strong.
"It is very much similar to with Frank [Lampard]," he continued. "When he wasn't selected, people wrote him off and it's the same with Rio.
"But you can never write two world-class players off and Rio will be back in an England shirt. I'm sure of that.
"He is a world-class player and the players believe in him."