Rio Ferdinand was recalled to the England squad after almost two years on Thursday, with the defender called up for the first time by coach Roy Hodgson.
The 34-year-old Manchester United player last played for his country in June 2011 but is in line to start the World Cup qualifiers later this month against San Marino and Montenegro, which is two points ahead of England in the group.
''I am picking him on form and merit - everything is `football reasons,''' Hodgson said.
Ferdinand was annoyed last year with the FA after believing he had been snubbed for a place in the European Championship squad amid the fallout from a case in which his brother was racially abused by England defender John Terry.
Hodgson gave a strong hint that Ferdinand could have a prominent role to play in the double-header coming up, and possibly beyond.
"A player of Rio's caliber and also of Rio's age, you don't bring them into a squad as back-ups, you bring them into the squad or the team because you want ...