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Ferdinand tells England stars to retire after being disrespected by Southgate

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The Three Lions manager’s latest selection for the international break has left Rio unimpressed.

Rio Ferdinand has called for Raheem Sterling and James Ward-Prowse to quit the England national team.

The former Manchester United and England defender feels England manager Gareth Southgate has disrespected the pair after not naming them in his latest squad.

Both players have enjoyed excellent starts to the season. Sterling has been in fine form for Chelsea, with two goals in three games. Likewise, Ward-Prowse has shined for West Ham. The midfielder has made four-goal contributions (one goal, three assists) in three matches for his new club.

On his Vibe with Five podcast, Ferdinand said: “Sterling’s probably been the main bright spark at Chelsea. It’s just nuts. I’d retire.

“If I’m someone like Ward-Prowse, I’d just retire. Say, ‘Listen, don’t pick me anymore. There’s no point. It’s disrespectful what you’re doing.”

Ferdinand questions Southgate’s policy

At the weekend, Manchester City winger Jack Grealish and Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold withdrew from the team because of injuries.

Yet, much to Sterling and Ward-Prowse’s dismay, Southgate chose not to call up the pair. He instead decided to stick with his current options, which include Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips – who only have 29 minutes of Premier League football between them this season.

“If I was Sterling, I’d be very disappointed bearing in mind what he’s done for this England team when he’s been in or around it,” Ferdinand said.

“If you’re going by the yardstick that Gareth’s using with the likes of [Harry] Maguire and [Kalvin] Phillips, why is it all right for them guys to get in and not him?”

England will play Ukraine in Poland on Saturday for a Euro 2024 qualifier.