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Ferdinand considered quitting

October 23, 2004 13:31 IST

Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand said he considered retiring from the international arena after being banned from all soccer for eight months for missing a drugs test.

Ferdinand, who returned to action last month, was angry at the verdict handed down by the Football Association (FA).

"I was really bitter and if someone had asked me if I'd play for England again, I'd have said no," he told MUTV, Manchester United's television channel.

"But as time passes, you come to your senses. You remind yourself that every kid wants to play for their country."

The 25-year-old made his comeback for England in the World Cup qualifying win over Wales at Old Trafford earlier this month and now says he would have regretted calling time on his international career, despite his unhappiness with the FA.

"I am not the first person to feel like I did about your national association," he said. "But to have (not played for England) would have been disrespectful and now I want to carry on playing for England for as long as possible."

Ferdinand missed Manchester United's 0-0 Champions League draw in Sparta Prague on Tuesday because he was attending a funeral but will return for Sunday's English Premier League clash with title rivals Arsenal at Old Trafford.

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