Fergie: Rio's Our Next Skipper

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Rio Ferdinand will Manchester United's next captain despite missing out on the England armband John Terry got the nod from Fabio Capello ahead of last Wednesday's friendly against the Czech Republic, the Italian tactician preferring the Chelsea stopper's raw and passionate leadership style. But Ferguson has urged Ferdinand not to feel disheartened, insisting Capello could just as easily have chosen the United defender instead. He told The Sun: “I don’t think Rio should worry about losing out on the England captaincy. “I don’t think it is a reflection of anything other than a person’s choice. I don’t think there was anyone nailed on for the England captain’s job. “It was always Rio or John Terry. It was a flip of a coin. It could have gone either way. I am sure it was a close call. “At Rio’s age, he shouldn’t be worried about the effect of that. He just has to carry on. He has proved himself a great centre-back so there is nothing else he can do. “The advantage for John Terry is that he has been captaining Chelsea for quite a while. You have to give that consideration.” The fact Ferdinand was even considered for the England captaincy, let alone tipped as the favourite, highlights his remarkable transformation over the past few seasons. The ex-West Ham man was once thought of as a reckless playboy of sorts, as well-known for his exploits on the pitch as his controversies off it. But the 29-year-old has now firmly established himself as one of Europe's very best and most reliable defenders, and Ferguson confessed that he is first in line to succeed Gary Neville as United skipper. The Scot said: “In the long term, Rio will be our captain. There is no question about that. We are very, very comfortable with it. “His qualities of leadership have improved tremendously over the last two or three years. “Ability wise, it is there for everyone to see.”


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