Originally written on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 5/15/13
Football-fulham-manchester
England manager Roy Hodgson respects and understands Rio Ferdinand's decision to slip into international retirement. The Manchester United defender announced on Wednesday that he no longer wishes to be considered by his country, after earning 81 caps. He feels that, at the age of 34, the time is right to step aside and let the next generation of talent cement their standing in the Three Lions fold. Hodgson has been quick to pay tribute to Ferdinand and the service he has given England since making his debut in 1997 and agrees that it is important to now build towards a bright future. He told Sky Sports News HD: "I obviously respect the decision, it was good of Rio to call me yesterday before I actually needed to select a squad and tell me that he would rather not be considered and that he thought it was time to retire. "I think it was fantastic and admirable, and I agree with him that we do have a crop of interesting young players coming on and it's good that he accepts that ma...
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