Old Trafford veteran must prove fitness over the season.
Rio Ferdinand appears destined never to play at a European Championships with England manager Fabio Capello ready to drop him for this summer’s tournament.
The Manchester United defender was dropped from the squad that secured qualification against Montenegro because of injuries and the emergence of new talent.
The 32-year-old must now prove his fitness over the remainder of the season if Capello will pick his former skipper.
Ferdinand has never played at the Euro’s after being banned from playing at the 2004 event because of missing a drugs test and England’s failure to qualify four years later.
He now faces increasing pressure for his place both at club and national level with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
Throw in Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott to start alongside captain John Terry and Ferdinand could easily miss out.
Capello has re-emphasised his only criteria for selection will be form and fitness.
“I select the player, not the name,” said Capello. “Rio needs to play games. He has not played enough. He only played two games and last week he was on the bench.
“Sorry, but it’s my job. I check all the players before I select them. If the player is at the top of his form I select them.”