Rio Ferdinand to captain England against France

Rio Ferdinand will captain England in their friendly against France tomorrow night in Paris, as new manager Fabio Capello continues his policy of rotating the captaincy in friendlies. The Man Utd defender takes over from Steven Gerrard who captained the side in last month's friendly against Switzerland.

Capello will choose the team's permanent captain before the start of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. An FA statement released today sates that "Fabio Capello has confirmed this continues his policy of rotating the captaincy between players in the friendly matches." The bad syntax of that sentence is the FA's own handiwork.

This marks a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the ex presenter of 'Rio's World Cup Wind-Ups' and maker of alleged homophobic remarks Ferdinand. In 2004 Ferdinand was charged by the FA Disciplinary Committee for missing a drugs test leading to an eight month ban from football.

But that's all water under the footballing bridge for Fabio Capello who will assess Ferdinand's leadership qualities ahead of the games that people care about in the Autumn.

According to people who have actually played football Ferdinand has been in great form for Man Utd this year. Who knows, it may even be the start of a new chant. "His name is Rio and he captains Engerland. " You heard it here first folks.

England captain Rio Ferdinand

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