Rio Ferdinand left out of Euro 2012 squad

England’s most experienced international defender, Rio Ferdinand, has been omitted from Roy Hodgson’s squad for Euro 2012, and John Terry included. The new manager’s first major decision has been both difficult and controversial.

Despite Hodgson’s insistence that his decision was purely on football considerations, many will suspect that Ferdinand has been left out because of the difficulties of being in the same squad as John Terry. Terry is awaiting trial on charges of racially abusing Ferdinand’s younger brother Anton.

"I realised that when I selected him there would be people who would raise eyebrows," Hodgson said, "but that's the decision that I've made, that's the decision I shall live with. I selected John Terry for footballing reasons and I left out Rio Ferdinand for footballing reasons. Hodgson added that Ferdinand, who has played in three World Cups, took the news "graciously".

Ferdinand’s recurring injury problems have persuaded Sir Alex Ferguson to rest the defender regularly during the season. All the same, Ferdinand appeared in all of United’s final 12 Premier League games and performed impressively.

Hodgson’s bolder inclusions were Andy Carroll, the much-maligned Liverpool forward, and the young Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Two players were surprisingly omitted. Stoke City striker Peter Crouch has an excellent scoring record for England, while Manchester City’s dynamic full back Micah Richards has had an impressive season with the champions and can also play at centre-back.

The full squad is: Goalkeepers: Hart, Green, Ruddy. Defenders: Baines, Cahill, Cole, Johnson, Jones, Lescott, Terry. Midfielders: Barry, Downing, Gerrard, Lampard, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Parker, Walcott, Young. Forwards: Carroll, Defoe, Rooney, Welbeck.

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