Giggs happy to see Hodgson leave Rio Ferdinand out of England squad

The veteran says the defender’s absence from the national set-up is good news for Manchester United after another dominant performance from the centre-back in Madrid

Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs has revealed he is more than happy to see Rio Ferdinand omitted from England squads as it is helping the defender produce his best form for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

The 34-year-old has been impressive this season and produced another fine display on Wednesday as the Red Devils drew 1-1 with Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Ferdinand has not played for his country since June 2011, and manager Roy Hodgson has admitted to becoming irritated over questions about an England return for the defender, but Giggs says it is helping United.

“Yes, it is, he’s been playing like that all season,” Giggs told the Daily Mirror.

“His experience, leadership skills and organisation were needed with two young players around him, in Jonny Evans and Rafael.

“Rio’s just a top player. He has proved that again and again, and he’s proved that again on Wednesday.”

Ferdinand played a major part in United’s 1-1 draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night and Giggs believes this is proof the defender is not bothered by his omission from the England squad.

“No, I don’t think so,” Giggs added.

“We’re just happy that he’s playing so well for United. The rest of the stuff we’re not too bothered about, as long as he keeps putting in performances like that.”

Ferdinand has struggled with injury in recent seasons, and Giggs has praised the way the defender has changed the way he plays to accommodate his ageing body.

“Rio’s an intelligent person and an intelligent player,” Giggs said.

“I was similar in that I had to change my game because of the hamstring problems I was getting.

“You do have to change your game as you get older and he’s done that really well.

“To still be playing at 34 at that standard is testimony to the way he’s looked after himself and the ability he’s got.”

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