Rio Ferdinand today began his bid to re-ignite his England career – and to regain the captaincy – ahead of Tuesday’s Euro 2012 qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley.
The Manchester United defender was put through his paces with his England team-mates at Arsenal’s London Colney training headquarters after the squad joined up last night.
It was Ferdinand’s first involvement with England since he was forced to miss the World Cup and the first three internationals of the current campaign with his knee ligament injury.
Ferdinand faces competition from Phil Jagielka for his place after the Everton defender impressed Fabio Capello during the wins over Bulgaria and Switzerland last month.
Capello has also to decide whether to hand the captain’s armband back to Ferdinand with Steven Gerrard taking over as skipper in his absence.
Ferdinand’s defensive partner and former England captain, John Terry, was also involved today after missing the Bulgaria and Switzerland matches through injury.
Ferdinand and Terry have only played together in nine of the 31 internationals of Capello’s reign.
It was a proud day for 33-year-old Bolton striker Kevin Davies who has been called into the squad for the first time.
Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry was the only absentee after not reporting to the team’s Hertfordshire base because of a “personal problem”.