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Giggs: England’s Rio Loss Is Our Gain

Rio Ferdinand put in another brilliant performance for Manchester United this week in our 1-1 draw against Real Madrid.

The game comes following yet another snub from Roy Hodgson when England faced Brazil at Wembley.

Hodgson has laughably claimed that Rio’s omission is purely down to “footballing reasons”, not the fact that John Terry racially abused his brother and that Ashley Cole, according to the FA, lied to protect him.

It’s odd that Sir Alex Ferguson, the best manager this country has ever seen, believes that Rio is good enough to face Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, but that Roy Hodgson, whose last trophy was in 2001 and before that 1989, doesn’t think that Rio is good enough to do a job against San Marino.

Ryan Giggs has claimed he doesn’t think that Rio is bothered and that England’s loss is our gain, given how well he has played for us this season. There is no doubt that avoiding extra international games will prolong Rio’s career for us, so we should be pleased with Hodgson’s decision, regardless of how barmy it is.

“He’s been playing like that all season,” Giggs said. “His experience, leadership skills and organisation were needed with two young players around him, in Jonny Evans and Rafael. Rio’s just a top player. He has proved that again and again, and he’s proved that again on Wednesday.”

Giggs doesn’t think that Ferdinand is too concerned about being overlooked by Hodgson and is happy to concentrate on United.

“No, I don’t think so,” Giggs added. “We’re just happy that he’s playing so well for United. The rest of the stuff we’re not too bothered about, as long as he keeps putting in performances like that.”

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. domunited says:

    Always thought Rio was a degending idiot savant – moronic moves away from the pitch, but absolutely genius on it. He may have lost a step or two, but his positional sense makes up gor that. And his experience at marshalling the defense is priceless. With him and his field general direction, a young defender can’t help but feel a bit more confident and elevate his game.

  2. domunited says:

    defending* . dammit

  3. Montana Red says:

    I’m glad that Rio seems to have gotten past his seemingly never-ending bout of injury that lasted for 2.5 years or so. His resurgence has been crucial throughout the entire season. He may have lost a step, but like the Welsh Wizard and the Ginger Prince, his situational awareness and marshaling of the defense more than makes up for it.
    Having guys like Evans, Smalling and Jones learn from him is extremely valuable to their development.

  4. George says:

    In defense of Hodgson, he’s building for the world cup in 2014, so his squads are geared towards that. Rio had been great this season, arguably the best English defender at the moment, but how good will he be next year when he’s another year older in the boiling sun in Brazil? Is he even guaranteed to still be at United next season?

    Not saying Hodgson is right to ignore him, but it’s not a simple issue.

  5. Scott says:

    George – That doesn’t really explain the inclusion of Gerrard, Lampard, Parker etc. though does it.

  6. wayne says:

    Being saying this for 2 seasons best thing that ever happened to Utd when Rio was juggling both England and Utd was missing a lot of games. Hodgson backed himself against the wall by lying about why Rio was left out of the Euro’s now he’s living with the statement which makes him look a right cunt Cahill and Lescott are planks compared to Rio

  7. Marq says:


    If that was the case, Terry should be dropped as well. Look at him, he is out much more than Rio these days. Hodgson should have dropped both Terry & Rio. As soon as he chose one, he is in a lose lose situation.

    Anyway, who cares, its our gain now

  8. King Eric says:

    I have seen some great defenders in my 38 years but I have to say Rio is probably the best. He is fucking quality, reads the game like a book.

  9. WeAreUnited says:


    I really hope Jones and Smallign evovles like him, I think Smalling is the more closer to him, but these two and Michael Keane + Johnny boy Evans


  10. Dan says:

    @ Scott and Marq

    Sorry for the delay in replying. Parker hasn’t played for England since the Euro’s and is two years younger than Rio, Terry has retired. Gerrard is two years younger than Rio. The only comparable situation is Lampard, who is the same age and yes, he’s in the same boat as Rio. Both of whom may be playing in America next season and then shouldn’t be in the England squad for obvious reasons.

    So yes, Lampard is a good point, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t make it to Brazil next year anyway.

    As I said, Rio has been superb this season and he probably deserves a place in the England squad, but I can understand the reasons for not picking him. Including Martin Kelly over him in the squad for Euro 2012 was an absolute joke though,

  11. supeyrio says:

    it’s riddiculous, bollocks really. Rio ferdinand is probably the best defender in england for a decade, and is way better than john terry is. but definitely great for man utd since he’s getting older now and we need to manage the older sportsmen better to get more life out of them

  12. Scott says:

    Dan – Gerrard is 18 months younger than Rio, Parker has been called up to squads by Hodgson since the Euros but has pulled out because of injuries, Terry retired because the FA rightly found he racially abused someone and Hodgson was gutted about it, saying he was disappointed he had retired.

    So, the fact that Hodgson wants Gerrard, Parker, Terry and Lampard in his squad means there’s no weight to the argument he is planning for the future to excuse Rio’s absence.

  13. Red4ever says:

    Roy dogson of a bitch what a shitty maneger he has absolutely no sense what so ever when was the last time he had players of this class under his belt he should realize that he is not managing a mid table team but for england really cahil , lescot , jageilca , over rio u’ve got to be shitting me

  14. Red4ever says:

    And yeah euro team which he took was most disgracing thing he could do ,,really henderson, over cleverly and carrick he should go fuck off some where with his FA’s gay boyfriend

  15. anderson08 says:

    United>England. Fact. Fuck you Benitez.
    Oh sorry, Rat Man.

  16. mneto says:

    Then this the world’s best back Mancheste, but the world’s best, because Messi is not of this world.


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