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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May, 31, 2006

Jamaica's Euell looking forward to Rio reunion

Jason Euell is planning to give his old friend Rio Ferdinand the run-around when Jamaica take on England at Old Trafford this weekend.

The Charlton attacking midfielder, 29, was brought up in south London and played alongside the Manchester United centre-half in a local Sunday league side.

Both players remained good friends as their careers progressed through to the top-flight of English football - and now they are to come face-to-face on the international stage in what will be the final warm-up game for Sven-Goran Eriksson's men ahead of the World Cup.

Euell cannot wait to lock horns with Ferdinand and many other familiar faces in the opposition line-up.

He declared: 'I have played against Rio too many times!

'He is two years younger than me, but we were from the same Sunday side and we also used to play football in the park during the holidays.

'It will be a good occasion. We both come from the same area, but are now representing two different countries, which is something good and positive.'

Teenager Theo Walcott became England's youngest international when he was introduced during the second half of last night's 3-1 win over Hungary.

Euell revealed Ferdinand had told him everyone in the England camp had been impressed by the Arsenal 17-year-old, called up to the World Cup squad without having yet made a first-team appearance for the Gunners.

He recalled: 'Rio and I we were at Michael Duberry's wedding recently, we were chatting about the games coming up - and Theo Walcott.

'I saw Rio on the Saturday and they had trained on the Friday. He said that it was the first time that Walcott had showed something.

'They had played a small sided game, when Theo was on Rio's team. They won 3-0 and he scored two goals.

'Rio said it was the first time that he showed everyone what he is about.

'He is certainly something to look forward to.'

Euell added: 'Now the lad can say that he can deal with it and show what he is about. He has a good bunch of boys around him to help him do that.'

Jamaica may not have been able to emulate the class of 1998 and qualify for the World Cup, but it is always a special event when the Reggae Boyz are in town.

Their colourful supporters ensured a carnival atmosphere at the Walkers Stadium on Monday, despite the Caribbean side suffering a 4-1 friendly defeat to Ghana, who did make it to Germany.

Euell is in no doubt the Jamaican fans will be looking forward to painting Old Trafford gold and green.

He said: 'Rio and I talked about the game, how it will be inside and outside the stadium - it is going to be a party atmosphere.

'Everyone is interested in the game, but for the whole of Jamaica, it is about playing England and making the most of the day, that is how it will be.'

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