Ferdinand reveals TV informed him about captaincy

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The Independent Football

Rio Ferdinand has revealed he found out he was England's new captain while watching the news on television.

England manager Fabio Capello has visited Manchester United's Carrington training complex to discuss the state of Ferdinand's troublesome back complaint with both the player and Sir Alex Ferguson, yet the captaincy issue can apparently wait.

"I haven't spoken to the manager yet," Ferdinand told The Guardian in a conversation about the captaincy.

Ferdinand was installed as John Terry's successor last month, following the allegations about the Chelsea defender's life away from football.

Ferdinand, who was speaking to the newspaper last week, claimed: "I found out I was captain from the TV."

The interview emerged less than 12 hours after Capello admitted discussions had taken place over the back injury which has returned to rule Ferdinand out of tonight's England's friendly against Egypt.

Capello said: "I met Rio and spoke with Sir Alex and I know exactly what happened.

"I also spoke with (chief executive) David Gill at Wembley, who told me it is not the same problem.

"I don't know. I just hope he will be fit in a short time because he needs to play.

"You can only find good form when you play games."

Once tonight's game is out of the way, Ferdinand will have featured in only four of England's last 13 games.

That statistic must concern Capello given Ashley Cole is also out of action with a broken ankle, Wayne Bridge has declared himself unavailable and Terry seems to be below par.

Capello might also be able to stop talking about Terry once this week is out of the way, although probably not immediately given the crowd reaction expected for the former national captain.

A plea for support has now been made by Capello and Wayne Rooney, although the Italian accepts lifestyles which are anything but the normal situations he likes are an inevitable by-product of the high salaries modern-day footballers are paid.

"Players have to be an example to the children," said Capello.

"For that reason, they have to stay careful at all times and sacrifice something in their lives.

"They are young players, young boys, who are rich boys. This is the problem.

"It is not only here. In Italy, in Germany, in Spain, in every country where football is so important it is the same problem."

Nevertheless, Capello has tried to instil his own moral code during England's training camp this week.

It goes against a tradition that dates back beyond Chelsea's old Kings Road days, let alone the current one. Yet Capello does not see why it has to be that way.

"I have asked the players not to take chances. It is a normal life for a sportsman," he said.

"I only want to speak about things that happen on the pitch. I want to speak about the style of our game. I want to speak about what happens during a game.

"For some players, their private life is a big problem. Also for the clubs and, at the end, for me.

"But I hope they understand it is really important, in this last period, they are careful in their lives. I think the next three months will be okay for all the players."