Raheem Sterling: Rio Ferdinand launches defence of Liverpool winger who was 'too tired' to play for England

Sterling had asked Roy Hodgson to be rested for Estonia match

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The Independent Football

Rio Ferdinand has defended Raheem Sterling, who asked to be left out of the England starting XI which defeated Estonia 1-0 in Tallinn on Sunday evening after claiming to be too tired to play to his best.

QPR centre-back Ferdinand, who retired from international football last year having won 81 caps for England, says that Sterling asking to be left out of the team was for the benefit of the team, and revealed that former foreign team-mates such as Carlos Tevez would often ask to be left out of training sessions to be fit for the weekend.

"Sterling - tired, fair play to him. English players are normally too proud to do that unlike our foreign friends," Ferdinand wrote on Twitter today.

"For instance, Tevez would come in some days and sit on the massage bed while the team trained...'I'm tired'..match day - firing and energised."


He added: "Either some real dumb heads on here or they just missed the point totally. Doing what's better for the team and yourself long term.


"With more rest at the right times throughout seasons Rooney would have gone into tournaments for England fresher 100%.... Too proud again."