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Rio FerdinandFabio Capello has announced that he’ll give Rio Ferdinand his first chance to prove himself as England captain in France tonight.

The former Leeds United defender still holds the record for the most expensive defender in the world following his move across the Pennines in 2002, which cost his current club Manchester United close to £30,000,000.

The 29-year-old will make his 66th appearence for England tonight. His first came back in 1997 when he was just 19. At the time Rio was the youngest defender to have ever played for England, a record which has since been broken by Micah Richards.

It should have been the start of an historical international career, but after getting caught drunk driving, Glenn Hoddle excluded Ferdinand from the England squad that would play in the France 1998 World Cup.

Rio however learnt from his mistakes, and went on to become an almost permanent fixture in the England squad, playing in both the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

Fabio Capello has told the media he wants his team to be role models, and fully expects Rio Ferdinand to lead by example. Capello wants his team to conduct themselves in a respectable manner – a lesson John Terry is learning the hard way.

Terry was relieved of the England captaincy as Capello tried out Steven Gerrard in the last England fixture, but it appears Capello wasn’t overwhelmed by the Liverpool skippers leadership of the national side. John Terry hindered his chances after an incident with the referee during a Chelsea game, something Capello doesn’t take kindly to.

Capello has stated he intends to try out more players in the captains role, so despite Gerrard and Terry failing to impress the new coach, Rio’s position isn’t yet guaranteed.

Michael Owen would appear to be the next choice on Capello’s list. A player that has always avoided the press scandals that have hounded other professional footballers, and is truly respect by players and fans alike.

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