Hansen comments dismissed by Ferdinand

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The Independent Football

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 tonight's Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley.

Yet there are some who believe the 31-year-old would be better served concentrating on his club career with Manchester United rather than putting his body on the line for England.

Hansen is part of that group, but his opinion has been rejected out of hand.

"You can't retire from England. I can't," said Ferdinand. "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."

Fabio Capello clearly has no concerns either, judging by the way he assessed Ferdinand's performances in training since Friday and confirmed his position as skipper ahead of Steven Gerrard.

It is harsh on the Liverpool midfielder, who carried out the role with maturity on eight occasions during the 10 games since John Terry was sacked, including at the World Cup and the three difficult games since.

However, now Capello has made up his mind, Ferdinand only has to look back at his old club West Ham for the perfect example of how the job should be done.

"Bobby Moore wore the armband with distinction," the Manchester United defender said. "It helped winning the World Cup but he also did it with pure grace.

"You are judged by your behaviour and the way you carry yourself. He is a shining light of that and I would like to follow in those footsteps.

"Captaining your country is a big responsibility. This country holds the captaincy in such high regard. You have to lead by example and that is what I will be looking to do."

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