Ferdinand's worth the captaincy. Unlike Gerrard and Terry

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Part of a 'captaincy rotation' policy or not, Fabio Capello's decision to give Rio Ferdinand the armband against France in Paris is a key moment in the career of the player allegedly dubbed 'Merkington Bear' by his Manchester United team-mates.

Driving bans, missed drugs tests, extortionate wage demands, 'Rio's World Cup Wind-ups' (i.e. "You've been Merked!" – see above), homophobic remarks on live radio and a premature autobiography mean few fans have really taken Ferdinand to their hearts during his career.

It has even led some to continue to roll out the line that "he still has lapses of concentration/makes too many mistakes". Utter nonsense. Ferdinand is one of the best central defenders in the world and has been for some time, often saving his best performances for big games.

You would be hard-pushed to find a footballer who does more 'good work' off the field, something that has inevitably been overshadowed by his misdemeanors.

You could even argue, as Sir Alex Ferguson has, that Ferdinand's claims to the leadership of his country are currently stronger than the other main contenders, Steven Gerrard and John Terry.

While the Liverpool captain has still to find his best form in an England shirt in 64 appearances (one less than Ferdinand), his Chelsea counterpart's berating of referees has been more prominent than his defending in recent months. Neither can be said of Ferdinand.

One can only hope his selection as temporary captain will knock Gerrard and Terry down a peg or two and remind them what kind of example they need to set if they want the role full-time.