The Road to Rio; get used to it because it is a pun you may be seeing a lot of over the next few days and weeks after Roy Hodgson decided to recall Rio Ferdinand to the England team for the World Cup Qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro at the end of the month.
With Phil Jagielka out injured it was always a possibility that Hodgson may end the imposed exile on Rio’s international career and considering he has probably been the second best English defender in the league this season it is certainly just rewards he was preferred to Joleon Lescott of Manchester City’s bench.
Michael Dawson has also earned a recall. The best English centre-half in the league this season he should go straight into the starting line-up if the starting XI is picked on merit over hype.
Meanwhile Ben Foster, as rumoured, has ended his exile from international selection and joins Joe Hart and Fraser Forster as the goalkeeping options in the squad.
It is however the selection of Rio Ferdinand that has caused the biggest storm after he was initially rejected in favour of the now retired John Terry and when the manager himself seemed to discount his future credentials whilst talking to passengers on the London underground.
Here is a mixture of reaction from Twitter about the decision…
Rio Ferdinand is in the England squad. Very wise decision!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 14, 2013
There wasn't a sound reason to leave Rio Ferdinand out of this England squad, whatever the earlier political machinations. The right move.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) March 14, 2013
Rio Ferdinand back in the England squad. Surely he's far past his best.— Nick Harman (@NickoH) March 14, 2013
@rioferdy5 back in the England squad, about frickin' time!!— Joe Moore (@Joe_Moore92) March 14, 2013
Rio Ferdinand got his call up for one reason and one reason only, sympathy.— Número Uno (@FlashyBenny) March 14, 2013
Good to see @rioferdy5 back in the England squad! His performances and fitness has been top draw this season!— Tank (@Tom_Watsonn) March 14, 2013
Do you think Rio Ferdinand deserves his recall?
image: © Paolo Camera