Hodgson recalls Rio Ferdinand to England squad

Rio Ferdinand, who has won 81 caps, last played for England in June 2011. Credit: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been recalled to the England football squad by national team manager Roy Hodgson for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

It is the first call-up for Ferdinand since he was omitted from the Euro 2012 squad, explained away by Hodgson at the time for "footballing reasons" rather than for any conflict with Chelsea captain John Terry, who was involved in a racism row with Ferdinand's brother Anton.

Terry's retirement from international football has opened the door for Ferdinand's return to the team and Hodgson has confirmed: "He's in the squad in order to play rather than to make up the numbers."