Laurent Blanc

“I know Rio Ferdinand. I think from afar that the choice to not take him isn’t a sporting choice. It has been surprising to not see him. If the manager has made the choice … I am not in his place. I’m not going to interfere in the affairs of England. Rio Ferdinand is a very good player but (his exclusion) has been surprising with all the injuries in that department.”

Sol Campbell

“What we can say for sure is that this entire situation goes back to what did or did not happen between John Terry and Anton Ferdinand last season. That is the only logical conclusion that can be drawn and I for one never bought the argument that Rio had been left out of the original squad for “footballing reasons”. In fairness to Hodgson, he was put in a difficult situation, and we don’t know what pressures he may have been under, but his reasons for picking who he did simply made no sense – Rio had played great for Manchester United at the back-end of the season and was a key reason why they finished second in the Premier League and missed out on the title on goal difference alone. He is clearly in top shape and in top form and deserved his England place as much as anyone else.”

Robbie Fowler

“There’s not a chance Rio Ferdinand was left out of the England squad for “footballing reasons”. Not a chance. The public knows that too. The reason is Rio’s brother, Anton, was allegedly racially abused by John Terry. I’ve read that Ferdinand got in touch with Hodgson shortly after he was appointed as manager to say he was willing to play in the same England team as Terry. Rio was then overlooked for the Euro 2012 23-man squad for what was described as ‘purely a footballing decision’ by Hodgson. It’s the choice by Hodgson to replace the injured Chelsea centre-half Gary Cahill with Martin Kelly that has really caused the backlash now. Rio is a fantastic player who reads the game brilliantly. He started 30 Premier League games for Manchester United last season and nearly won the league. Footballing reasons?”

Rafael Van der Vaart

“It surprised me because I think he’s still one of the best defenders in England, and maybe in the world. Of course, he’s a little bit older now, but he’s still fit and fresh and he played for Manchester United.”

Harry Redknapp

“I think it’s a difficult decision for him. There’s obviously more to it. If it’s just football, it’s difficult to leave Rio out, obviously, because he’s a fantastic player still. But that’s the decision that’s been made.”

Jason Roberts

“If you are going on ability then Rio Ferdinand not only makes it into the England squad, he makes it into the team. I think everybody in the game knows that. I know that a manager has to live and die by a decision he makes, but to tell us that Rio has not made it into the squad that is travelling to Euro 2012 for footballing reasons is really insulting people’s intelligence. If his brother Anton had not found himself at odds with John Terry, would Rio have been going?”

Patrice Evra

“Of course I’m surprised Rio is not in the squad. I don’t know what has happened. He is a big player, a strong player.”

Kenny Dalglish

“Ferdinand is as good a central defender as there is. He is certainly as good as any English centre-back. I feel for him if he is not going to the tournament for some reason other than football. And what about Martin Kelly, by the way? The longer everyone keeps chatting about Ferdinand, the more damaging it is for Kelly. Sooner or later, the lad is going to start saying to himself, ‘What am I doing here’?”