Playing with injuries has hurt Ferdinand's form, claims agent

Rio Ferdinand has aided and abetted his own fall from grace according to his agent Pini Zahavi, who has claimed the Manchester United defender's dip in form is down to the fact he has been ignoring injury problems to continue playing.

The Israeli, one of the most influential agents, insists his client has exacerbated the loss of form which has characterised his season so far by refusing to listen to his body. In an interview with an online site, Zahavi criticised those who have dismissed the 30-year-old as a spent force and is confident that once he gets fully fit, questions about his ability will soon be answered.

Ferdinand may miss today's match with Blackburn with a calf problem but Zahavi was adamant that is has been his refusal to miss matches that have sparked what he believe are premature rumours of his downfall. "All the speculation about Rio's is totally incorrect," he said. "Rio will be back to his best when he has finally cleared up a succession of injuries. He has had a lot of bad luck this season.

"He has had about four injuries, and because of his desire to do well for United he will turn out even if he is not 100 per cent, and for him that has been a big mistake, because it has affected his form. Rio is the same player, with the same abilities, and he will show it the minute he is back fully fit again."

Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday announced that Ferdinand's defensive partner Nemanja Vidic is also suffering from a calf problem while Ryan Giggs is also a doubt for today's game.

The United manager warned Ferdinand last week about how he needs to rediscover the touch that made him England's number one central defensive partner to Chelsea's John Terry. He outlined that Ferdinand "needs to re-find his form" if he wants to be consider a certainty for the World Cup squad yet despite his own warning, the United manager had changed his tune by the time of his media briefing yesterday morning.

"I'm not going into that," he said when asked to expand on Ferdinand's woes. "Because I read the stuff in the newspapers and I hear he is going to be dropped but I don't think any of you have access to my mind. You can try and pick my teams but you never will. I don't know where it is coming from. I just put it to the modern culture of humiliating people."

England's manager Fabio Capello yesterday defended next month's trip to Qatar to play Brazil after Ferguson, while not specifically mentioning the Doha fixture, lamented "the intrusion of a friendly game in some unknown country" in the midst of the club season. "I don't understand what this is all about," Capello said. "Most other countries are playing two games but we are only playing one match and returning the players on Sunday, four days earlier than the other countries. We did this out of respect to the players and their clubs at such a busy time in the fixture calendar."

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence