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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Rio backs Wayne Rooney for captaincy

Rio Ferdinand has urged Roy Hodgson to pick Wayne Rooney as England captain following Steven Gerrard's international retirement.

- Cox: Gerrard exit could bring change

Ferdinand, who joined Queens Park Rangers this summer after 12 years at Manchester United, described his former club and country teammate as "the most influential player England have got."

Ferdinand played alongside Rooney at Old Trafford for a decade and added: "Wayne is growing into that role. He's experienced now. He has played at the top level and won a lot of things. He knows the game. He's got the right tools for that.

"You look at other countries and the natural progression would be Wayne getting it now. With other countries it's usually the guy with the most caps, or who is most influential, and Wayne is the most influential player England have got now Steven Gerrard has gone. You also have to look at who is going to start."

Ferdinand, meanwhile, believes there is too much pressure put on England captains.

"We maybe go a bit overboard on it," he said. "You need as many leaders out on the pitch as you can get. You need people to lead by example, not just on the pitch but off the pitch. Hopefully we have got a few in there that can do that."


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