Rio Ferdinand pulls out of England squad for San Marino and Montenegro

Ferdinand farce! Now defender pulls out of England squad over fitness fears leaving Hodgson with headache for Montenegro

and a few months later was fined 45,000 by the FA for acknowledging a tweet which referred to Ashley Cole – who gave evidence in defence of Terry in his trial after the Chelsea player was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother Anton – as a 'choc ice'.

It's been a while: Ferdinand last played for England in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland June 2011

It's been a while: Ferdinand last played for England in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland June 2011

Selection poser: Roy Hodgson will have to do without Rio Ferdinand for England's World Cup double header

Selection poser: Roy Hodgson will have to do without Rio Ferdinand for England's World Cup double header

Low blow

Mouthy chat show host, former journalist and celebrity Arsenal fan Piers Morgan was quick to have a dig, tweeting: 'Sorry to see you've binned England on medical grounds, Sicknote @rioferdy5 -presumably they'll stop you playing in next few Utd games too'

Ferdinand last played for England in June 2011 in a World Cup qualifier against Switzerland at Wembley.

Meanwhile, left-back Leighton Baines is determined to take maximum points from San Marino and Montenegro.

England's next competitive match after the double header is in September and Everton defender Baines told told FATV 'The first game is one that everyone expects us to win and is a game we must win. And then it's a tougher game after that, one that's going to be really difficult and one that we really need to win.

'We want to finish the season in terms of qualifying on a high and in the best possible position to pick it up at the start of next season.

'The two draws (against Poland and Ukraine) put us under more pressure to win this one and the worst case is that we don't lose the game. Because there are plenty more games to come.'

RIO FERDINAND FACTFILE

1978: Born November 8, Peckham.

1995: Turns professional with West Ham.

1996: May – Makes West Ham debut as substitute in draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

1997: February – Scores first West Ham goal in defeat at Blackburn.

November – Becomes youngest defender to play for England when he makes debut against Cameroon at Wembley.

Debut: Ferdinand made his international bow as a substitute against Cameroon

Debut: Ferdinand made his international bow as a substitute against Cameroon

1998: Named in Glenn Hoddle's England World Cup squad but does not play at tournament in France.

2000: Left out of the England squad for Euro 2000 by Kevin Keegan. Makes British record 18million move to Leeds in November.

2002: Scores first England goal in 3-0 win over Denmark in World Cup second round.

July 21 – Leeds agree to sell Ferdinand to Manchester United for 29.1million, making him the world's most expensive defender.

2003: May – Earns first Premier League winner's medal.

October – Reported to the Football Association for failing to attend a drugs test, and left out of England squad for Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey because of the controversy.

December 18 – Receives eight-month ban and 50,000 fine over missed drugs test.

Big stage: Ferdinand (No 5) scored for England against Denmark at the World Cup in 2002

Big stage: Ferdinand (No 5) scored for England against Denmark at the World Cup in 2002

Big stage: Ferdinand (No 5) scored for England against Denmark at the World Cup in 2002

2004: January 20 – Ferdinand begins his ban, which means he misses Euro 2004.

2005: August 8 – Agrees new four-year deal with United.

2007: November 21 – Absent through injury as England lose 3-2 to Croatia at Wembley and fail to qualify for Euro 2008.

2008: March 26 – Captains England for the first time and wins his 65th cap in 1-0 defeat in France.

May 15 – Signs new five-year United deal.

May 21 – Captains United to a Champions League final victory over Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out in Moscow.

2009: May 16 – United wrap up third successive Premier League title.

May 27 – Part of United team beaten 2-0 by Barcelona in Champions League final.

2010: February 5 – Succeeds John Terry as England skipper after Chelsea defender is stripped of post by manager Fabio Capello following allegations about Terry's private life.

June 4 – Ruled out of World Cup after injuring ligaments in his left knee in training.

2011: March 19 – Loses England captaincy to Terry, ahead of Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales.

May – Wins another Premier League title with United – his fifth. United lose 3-1 to Barca in Champions League final at Wembley.

Crocked: Ferdinand's 2010 World Cup was over before it had started after he was injured during training

Crocked: Ferdinand's 2010 World Cup was over before it had started after he was injured during training

2012: February – Rules himself out of the running to captain England after Terry is stripped of the duty pending the outcome of a July trial. Terry is due to answer a charge of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother, QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, but is later acquitted.

May 16 – Left out of England's squad for Euro 2012. He later writes on Twitter: “Absolutely loved playing for england… to say I'm gutted is an understatement of the highest order…”

August 17 – Fined 45,000 by the FA for acknowledging a tweet which referred to Ashley Cole – who gave evidence in defence of John Terry in his trial – as a 'choc ice'.

December 9 – Struck by a coin thrown from the crowd at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium as United claim a 3-2 derby victory.

2013: March 5 – Escapes UEFA action after sarcastically applauding Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir at the end of home defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League.

March 10 – Escapes FA sanction for appearing to barge Chelsea striker Fernando Torres to the ground.

March 14 – Recalled to the England squad for World Cup qualifying matches against San Marino and Montenegro.

March 18 – Pulls out of the squad over fitness concerns