- International football
Hodgson: Terry not returning to Three Lions
Roy Hodgson has revealed that former captain John Terry does not plan to come out of international retirement and make himself available for selection again - and that England must now try and look to the future.
Terry quit England last September in protest against a perceived lack of support from the Football Association as he was charged with using racist language towards Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand. Terry was subsequently banned for four games by an independent disciplinary committee.
But press reports at the end of last month suggested Terry was ready to reverse his decision and make himself available for selection ahead of the upcoming friendlies against Ireland and Brazil and crucial World Cup qualifiers later in the year.
Rio Ferdinand, Anton's brother, finally confirmed his own retirement on Wednesday, almost two years after his 81st and final cap won against Switzerland, and that was thought to open the door further for Terry to make a comeback. But Hodgson has announced that Terry has indicated he will not make a u-turn and add to his 78 caps.
"John called me when the stories broke to explain it and my understanding is that he is in line with Rio Ferdinand and that he is actually in retirement," Hodgson as saying before Chelsea's 2-1 win over Benfica in the Europa League final on Wednesday evening. "If push came to shove and we were desperate, maybe we would turn to them. But, and it's a big but, it's a time to move forward.
"It's time for me to get behind the players who I think will be the ones to take us to Brazil and do well for us. I don't want to go down the young players route - if I want Frank Lampard or Michael Dawson to play I don't want to worry about their age.
"But the worry is that the older players have been in tournaments in their best years and still not pulled it off. We have a lot of talented players. Jack Wilshere has played 113 minutes in over a year for me but he has a great future.
"Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, plus the Under-21 team with Jordan Henderson, who has come on. We also have Wilfried Zaha, Raheem Sterling, Nathaniel Chalobah and Thomas Ince so we aren't short.
"We don't need to keep shackling ourselves with what we have with these great players in the past. We have to take a chance elsewhere."
Ferdinand said of his retirement on Wednesday night: "It's not an easy thing to do, to retire from playing for your country. I'm as passionate as the next man and I've always loved doing that. But there comes a time when your body tells you what to do.
"If I want to remain fit and well, and playing consistent football at the top level, it had to give somewhere."