Captaining your country at a World Cup tournament is probably an indication that you`ve reached the pinnacle of your career.
Rio Ferdinand has experienced the heartache that missing out on selection for a major tournament brings, when Kevin Keegan omitted him in 2000.
However, that omission was the kick up the backside that a young Rio needed and ahead of the World Cup he`s spoken to the media about how he had to change his lifestyle around from being a young party-goer to a model professional
Talking about the change, Rio remarks,
“I`m not on the rave scene like I used to be, I was on the clubbing scene all the time when I was young.”
“If there were parties to be known about, I`d get the phone call because I was the go-to man.”
“Now a good night for me is to go to a restaurant and have a glass of wine – but I don`t go overboard any more.”
“I`ve got married, I have kids now and a lot has changed for me.”
“There are times when you can let go but it`s at the right times. Back then I didn`t know when the right times were. I was young but now I`m a lot more mature.”
I think it`s called growing up Rio, it`s a stage we all go through.
But, as the captain of the England side, Rio will be the focus of the media`s attention in the forthcoming weeks, every move will be scrutinised and every comment made jumped upon by hundreds of media hacks.
It`s a situation we`d imagine Rio can comfortably handle and ahead of departing for South Africa, he`s, once again, commented on how proud he is to lead his nation but also stating his expectancy with regards to the World Cup, when he comments,
“It will be one of the proudest moments of my life to lead the team out in the World Cup – but to do it and be successful is what sets you apart.”
“I don`t want to go to South Africa as captain and go out in the first round. That is not good enough for me.”
“But there is a belief we can do well. We`re not going to criticise other teams because we`re English and that isn`t respectful to our opponents – but we`re going to the World Cup to win it.”
Close your eyes; can you see Rio lifting the trophy? I can but then I`ve always been an optimist ahead of such major tournaments.
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