Soccer

Racism fears don't faze Rio

2010-03-15 15:54
Not fazed (Gallo Images)

Watford - England defender Rio Ferdinand has said the prospect of being racially abused by Spanish fans would not put him off his game during Wednesday's international friendly in Seville.

England's last match on Spanish soil, in Madrid in 2004, was overshadowed by the sound of some home supporters making monkey noises any time one of England's black players came near the ball.

As a result, Wednesday's match has been moved to Seville.

Ferdinand, speaking at England's team hotel on Monday, said: "It (racism in Spain) doesn't really faze me. As players we are there to play football. Whatever the sideshow is it's in the background.

"What we are there for is to try and put in a good performance and win the game. It's as simple as that," the Manchester United centre-back added.

"It's not even in my mind. It's not something we think about or discuss over lunch or at training."

Ferdinand, 30, said he was far more concerned about how England would fare against European champions Spain.

England didn't qualify for the 2008 European Championships in Austria and Switzerland but, under Italian manager Fabio Capello, have since won their opening four qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"It's a massive test," said the 72-times capped Ferdinand. "We all know the qualities of Spain, they won the European Championships.

"You only have to look at the names on their team sheet and it is full of quality. They have some of the best players in Europe, if not the world.

"But you don't fear playing anybody. We play for England and we know we can beat anyone on the planet."

Former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham could equal Bobby Moore's record of 108 caps for an England outfield player on Wednesday following a successful loan spell with Italian giants AC Milan.

Ferdinand, who played alongside Beckham at United, said: "I've seen him at Milan and he looks as though he is enjoying his football. He has a zest about him and talking to him since he's been here he is having the time of his life.

"Just to get to 100 caps is an unbelievable achievement, but then to be able to equal Bobby Moore's record is phenomenal," added Ferdinand, who made his name at West Ham, the London club where Moore spent most of his playing days.

"Long may it continue."

At the other end of the spectrum, Aston Villa winger James Milner could make his senior England debut on Wednesday after regularly appearing for the Under-21s.

The former Newcastle and Leeds forward has played a prominent role in Villa's rise to third in the Premier League table but he credited his success to the stability he'd found with the Midlands side, managed by Martin O'Neill.

"I think it's helped massively to be at a settled club," Milner said.

"At the clubs I've been at before there's been a bit of distraction off the field, changing managers and that, which doesn't help.

"Moving to Aston Villa, the set-up is very good. From the top right the way through. That helps you play your best football because you don't have to worry about anything else."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 

Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

The route of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic has been announced and it promises to be as challenging as ever!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

4 exercise excuses and how to beat them
Watch: Insane road bike skills!
The most extreme journey ever?
Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Where should Rivaldo Coetzee play his soccer next season?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.