FOOTBALL: England's most capped player Peter Shilton yesterday urged Roy Hodgson to resist calls for Rio Ferdinand's international return.
The Manchester United defender, who has 81 caps for his country, was omitted from Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad for "footballing reasons."
This caused controversy in some quarters given that fellow stopper John Terry made the cut, despite having a court case hanging over him.
But though Terry was cleared at Westminster Magistrates Court of racially abusing Ferdinand's younger brother Anton while playing for Chelsea against QPR last season, he quit international football this week as a Football Association hearing into the matter got under way, claiming his position with England had been made "untenable" as a result.
There had been speculation Terry's decision may prompt Ferdinand's return to the England set-up, but Shilton thinks that would be a bad move.
Shilton, 63, who won a record 125 England caps, said: "I don't feel Rio should come back.
"His time has gone. We have to look to the future and I would look to the youth.
"(Gary) Cahill is someone I've always admired and I thought (Joleon) Lescott had an excellent Euros. At the moment, I'd go with those two."
Labelling Terry's retirement "premature," Shilton added: "Reading the press, I think Roy Hodgson feels the same way.
"Terry was recognised not only for his playing ability, but also for his leadership qualities."
Meanwhile as Terry's FA hearing continued yesterday, reports emerged suggesting that former England manager Fabio Capello was willing to testify on behalf of the Chelsea captain.
Both Capello, who resigned as England manager after Terry was removed as captain without his agreement, and his assistant Franco Baldini had apparently been prepared to fly into London to do so, although both ended up providing statements.
Reports also suggest that Terry's lawyers want the FA charge against the former England captain dismissed because he was found not guilty in July.