Rio makes players' team of the year… so will Roy pick him for England now
18:12 GMT, 25 April 2013
01:00 GMT, 26 April 2013
Roy Hodgson will come under renewed pressure to pick Rio Ferdinand for glamour games against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil after his fellow professionals voted him into the PFA team of the year.
Ferdinand, 34, will be named in the side, announced on Sunday, for a fifth time.
England’s manager is determined to pick a strong squad for the friendly against the Republic at Wembley on May 29 and the trip to Rio on June 2.
Selected: Rio Ferdinand is in the PFA players team of the year
Ferdinand made 21 starts as Manchester United charged towards their 13th Barclays Premier League title.
Hodgson’s assistant, Ray Lewington is being sent to Arsenal on Sunday to watch Ferdinand in action.
Hodgson is already without England captain Steven Gerrard, who needs surgery on his injured shoulder at the end of the season.
Pressure: Roy Hodgson (right) faces a tough decision about whether to call up Rio
Ferdinand pulled out of England’s World Cup qualifiers last month. He said his treatment schedule for his back meant he could not join the squad.
Ferdinand then caused outrage among England fans when he travelled to Doha to be an analyst for Al Jazeera for the 8-0 victory over San Marino.
Incredibly, Hodgson left the door open for Ferdinand to play for England again.
Fancy seeing you here: Rio Ferdinand bumped into former TOWIE star Mark Wright in Alderley Edge