Rio Ferdinand will miss the World Cup this summer after picking up an injury in training. The 31-year-old has endured an injury ravaged season although hoped that after getting a string of games together towards the end of the season that he would be fit to captain his country.

However, following a tackle with Emile Heskey in training, Rio will now miss out on what would have probably been his last World Cup and certainly his last opportunity as captain.

“He is one of the starting players, the captain, a leader,’’ Capello said. “It is obviously bad news and everyone with the squad is very disappointed and sorry for Rio. It was an accidental injury in training, but had nothing to do with the pitch. It happened in a normal tackle with Heskey. Rio turned and there was a problem. He felt big pain in the knee. Big pain.”

Rio is set to return to Manchester from South Africa on Monday to meet with the club doctors. From a United perspective, it means he stands a better chance of starting next season fresh and determined, although I suppose that is little comfort to him now.