Sol Campbell backs Rio Ferdinand to enjoy an international future

Ferdinand pulled out of the England squad amid fitness concerns

Sol Campbell has defended Rio Ferdinand's decision to withdraw from the England squad, and believes the Manchester United defender still has an international future.

Ferdinand, 34, had been included in Roy Hodgson's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, but withdrew to follow a pre-planned fitness routine designed to help him manage his long-standing back problems.

Ferdinand was widely criticised for his withdrawal, and he received further flak when he flew to Doha to be a pundit on Al Jazeera's coverage of the San Marino fixture.

But former England, Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle defender Campbell has leapt to the defence of his former team-mate.

He said: "I know what Rio is going through because international football does take a lot out of you.

"If you have a regime, a way of playing and a routine then playing for your country requires a lot more effort.

"If you are in a routine and happy with that and then you are looking to play another game it can be demanding on the body.

"Playing for England can put a lot of demands on your body. And then you have to get back and play for your club.

"If you haven't put that into your routine and no-one has told you that they are thinking about putting you in a month ago then it's hard to put it in."

And Campbell does not believe the current furore marks the end of Ferdinand's England career.

"He (Rio) said he would love to be involved in the next one," he added.

"It's just a crucial moment for England and Manchester United so it's a difficult for him to decide. It's physical. International football and the travelling is demanding.

"People need to talk and work it out. I think it was just a shock to Rio because he was thinking, 'Well, I haven't got a chance and then all of a sudden with a few injuries he had a chance.' It was surprising."

Campbell was speaking after watching Wales train ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Croatia, as part of completing his coaching badges.

He said: "Watching Wales train is all part of the learning process.

"I'm doing my B licence and I finish around June time and then I will start on my A badge.

"I'll know in three years time if coaching is something for me in the long-term."

You can also follow all the action from tonight's game on The Independent with our live blog by clicking here.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander in the leaked trailer for Zoolander 2
film
Sport
footballArsenal take the Community Shield thanks to a sensational strike from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Arts and Entertainment
Gemma Chan as synth Anita in Humans
film
News
Keeping it friendly: Tom Cruise on ‘The Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ensemble cast: Jamie McCartney with ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’
artBritish artist Jamie McCartney explains a work that is designed to put women's minds at rest
News
Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen