Rio Ferdinand should not be recalled to the national side because his “time has gone”, according to former England captain Peter Shilton.
By Saj Chowdhury
England coach Roy Hodgson must weigh up his defensive options after John Terry’s international retirement.
Shilton, England’s most-capped player, said: “I don’t feel Rio should come back. We have to look to the future.”
He believes Chelsea’s Gary Cahill and Manchester City’s Joleon Lescott should be England’s centre-backs.
Manchester United’s Ferdinand, 33, who has 81 caps for his country, was not selected for Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad, with the England coach citing “football reasons”.
This decision was made six weeks before Terry, 31, went on trial accused of racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother Anton during a match between QPR and Chelsea last October.
Terry was cleared at court of that charge, but this week quit international football the day before a Football Association hearing into the matter got under way, saying the action meant his position with England was “untenable”.
There has been speculation this may prompt Ferdinand’s return.
But former goalkeeper Shilton, who made 1,005 league appearances in a career lasting 31 years until his retirement in 1997, said: “His time has gone. We have to look to the future and I would look to the youth.
“Cahill is someone I’ve always admired and I thought Lescott had an excellent Euros. At the moment I’d go with those two.”
Ex-England captain Terry, 31, won 78 caps during a nine-year international career.
“I thought Terry was one of the outstanding players at the Euros,” said 63-year-old Shilton.
“I feel it’s premature [Terry’s retirement] and, reading the press, I think Roy Hodgson feels the same way.
“Terry was recognised not only for his playing ability, but also for his leadership qualities.”