• England

Rooney is Gerrard's natural successor, says Ferdinand

ESPN staff
July 30, 2014
Rio Ferdinand played alongside Wayne Rooney for club and country from 2003 until last month © Getty Images

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

Ferdinand, who signed for Queens Park Rangers after 12 years at Manchester United and has skippered his country, described his former club and country team-mate as "the most influential player England have got".

'I'd still be at United'

Rio Ferdinand re-joined Harry Redknapp after 12 years at Old Trafford © Getty Images

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 who wears the armband.

"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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