PHOTO GALLERY

Rio retires from England

14 Photos
  • Hod property

    Glenn Hoddle handed Rio Ferdinand his England debut in November 1997 - the 19-year-old was the youngest defender to have ever played for England at that time.

    World Cup woe

    Ferdinand was the second-most junior member of the Three Lions' 1998 World Cup squad, suffering penalty shootout heartbreak at the hands of Argentina.

    Euro rejection

    Kevin Keegan omitted Rio Ferdinand from his Euro 2000 squad, along with Andy Cole.

    Greece lightning

    Ferdinand established himself as an England regular after Euro 2000 and helped Sven Goran Eriksson's side reach the 2002 World Cup finals.

  • Sol man

    Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell formed a formidable partnership, particularly at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

    Great Dane

    A first international goal came in the second round as Ferdinand opened the scoring in a 3-0 victory over Denmark.

    World Cup woe II

    But defeat to Brazil in the quarter-finals left Ferdinand struggling to hold back the tears.

    Testing times

    In 2003, Rio Ferdinand was handed an eight-month ban for missing a drugs test, which led to him missing Euro 2004.

  • Partners in crime

    After returning to the England fold, Ferdinand became one half of an impressive defensive duo alongside Chelsea's John Terry. They played together at the 2002 World Cup.

    World Cup woe III

    A third World Cup campaign ended with a familiar feeling, as Portugal dumped England out in a penalty shootout.

    From Russia with love

    Rio Ferdinand's second goal for England came in a 3-0 Euro 2008 qualifying victory over Russia, though the Three Lions ultimately failed to reach the finals.

    Succeeding the skipper

    Allegations about John Terry's private life led to Rio Ferdinand being handed the captain's armband in February 2010.

  • One to four-get

    But Ferdinand was cruelly denied the chance to play in his fourth successive World Cup as injury ruled him out of the finals in South Africa.

    No Rio in Rio

    The last of Ferdinand's 81 England caps came against Switzerland in June 2011. He announced his retirement 11 months later, a year short of what could have been his fourth World Cup in Brazil.