March 14 (Bloomberg) -- Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand has been recalled to the England soccer squad for this month’s World Cup qualifying matches.
Ferdinand, 34, gets his first call-up under England manager Roy Hodgson, who didn’t select the defender for the 2012 European Championships for what he called “footballing reasons.” Ferdinand made the last of his 81 England appearances in a Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland in June 2011.
England resumes World Cup qualifying March 22 at San Marino and plays at Montenegro four days later. Montenegro leads England by two points after four of 10 matches in European Group H, with the winner automatically qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster, who previously made himself unavailable because of injury, and Tottenham teammates Michael Dawson and Scott Parker have also been recalled.
ENGLAND SQUAD Goalkeepers: Ben Foster (West Brom), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Celtic). Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Tottenham), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham). Midfielders: Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), James Milner (Manchester City), Leon Osman (Everton), Scott Parker (Tottenham), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Ashley Young (Manchester United). Forwards: Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United).
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