The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Rio Gets Skipper Reward
I was as critical of Rio Ferdinand as anybody when he missed a drugs test. I’ve been critical of him since then, too. But I’m glad he’s been given his turn at the England captaincy. I think he deserves his chance. The missed drugs test was five years ago. He served his punishment for that and has move on. He’s also in the form of his life for Manchester United. His display against Fernando Torres on Sunday was breathtakingly good. John Terry would still be my choice as permanent skipper, but giving Rio a shot at the captaincy is a fair reward for his recent consistent excellence.
Oliver Holt, The Mirror
Today’s papers are full of comments on Rio’s new (temporary) role. In The Times, Oliver Kay reminds readers: “Ferdinand cannot claim always to have been the perfect ambassador for the game, having been banned by the FA for eight months in 2004 for failing to attend a drugs test. The 29-year-old has also been banned from driving on four separate occasions, most infamously for a drink-driving offence in 1997.”
The Telegraph point out that since that drugs ban, “his maturity has been self-evident on the pitch and in the passion with which he has taken to campaigning for sporting opportunities and against knife crime in the estates where he grew up”.
Elsewhere, the Daily Express say Cristiano Ronaldo still wants to do the treble. He wants to win the Euro 2008 tournament with Portugal, as well as the Barclays Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.
In an exclusive in The Sun, Wayne Rooney has revealed he’s already started winding up United team-mate Patrice Evra ahead of tonight’s England v France battle. “I’ve been telling Patrice that I’ve been asking to play wide right so I can play against him!”