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Ox gets England call, Rio omitted

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the surprise inclusion in Roy Hodgson's 23-man England squad for Euro 2012, while former captain Rio Ferdinand was the most high-profile to miss the cut.

Oxlade Chamberlain, 18, has never previously played for the Three Lions, though he has impressed with four goals in eight games for the Under-21s and has sparkled for the Arsenal this season.

The youngest member of Hodgson's squad, Oxlade-Chamberlain will be joined by several other inexperienced England players in Poland and Ukraine, with the likes of Andy Carroll, John Ruddy and Danny Welbeck among those heading to their first major international tournament.

Steven Gerrard will captain his country for a second successive finals, having also done so at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Manchester United defender Ferdinand was a notable omission from the squad, meaning the veteran defender will likely never play at a European Championship. He was not been selected for Euro 2000, missed Euro 2004 through a drugs' ban and failed to qualify for Euro 2008 under Steve McClaren.

Liverpool pair Stewart Downing and Carroll both endured difficult seasons but were included nonetheless, while Jermain Defoe also got the nod despite having started just 11 league games for Tottenham this season.

Four of Manchester City's Premier League-winning players made the cut, with Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott, James Milner and Gareth Barry all heading to next month's tournament.

Lescott was among a number of players to tweet his happiness at making the squad, saying: "Delighted to be named in the squad the icing on the cake after the weekends triumph. Thanx for all the tweets of congratulations."

England squad:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Man City), Robert Green (West Ham), John Ruddy (Norwich)

Defenders: Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Man Utd), John Terry (Chelsea), Joleon Lescott (Man City), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Leighton Baines (Everton)

Midfielders: Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Stewart Downing (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Gareth Barry (Man City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Ashley Young (Man Utd), James Milner (Man City)

Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Wayne Rooney (Man Utd), Danny Welbeck (Man Utd), Andrew Carroll (Liverpool)


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