Monday Kickoff: Rio pulls out of England squad; Lampard scores 200th for Chelsea, Totti moves into second place in Serie A scoring, and more

Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United thanks the fans at the end of the game

By DAN KARELL

It looks as though Rio Ferdinand’s controversial return to the English National Team will be delayed just a bit longer.

The Manchester United defender has pulled out of the England squad citing a need to stick to a pre-planned fitness program that limits the amount of playing time the 34-year-old defender puts on his aging body.

Ferdinand informed England manager Roy Hodgson of the decision in a face-to-face meeting in London.

“It was important for me to be able to speak with Roy face to face and explain the situation, and one thing I made clear was that my passion and commitment to represent my country is as strong as ever,” Ferdinand said. “It is disappointing that I won’t be able to play a part in the upcoming games but I told Roy that I want to continue to be available for England and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

Here are some other stories to get your Monday going:

LAMPARD NETS 200th GOAL

He couldn’t have picked a much better day to do it.

Facing his former club, Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard scored his 200th goal in all competitions in a 2-0 win over West Ham on Saturday. The win pushed Chelsea up to third place in the Premier League, and Lampard now sits just two goals behind the club’s all-time top goal Bobby Tambling.

The 34-year-old left the East London club for Chelsea in 2001, and has started from day one, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, and Champions League. Lampard has scored 12 goals in 21 Premier League appearances this season.

TOTTI SITS ALONE IN SECOND PLACE

Francisco Totti, AS Roma’s captain and arguably best player of all-time, now sits on his own in second place in Serie A scoring, after bagging his 226th goal in a 2-0 win over Parma on Sunday.

The goal moved Totti ahead of former AC Milan forward Gunner Nordahl, and now the 36-year-old Roma legend sits 48 goals behind the top Serie A scorer, Silvio Piola. Totti, to his credit, said the most important statistic for him was if Roma get back into Europe, as opposed to his goal count.

Totti, who has only played for Roma during his 20-year career, has scored 11 goals and contributed 10 assists in 26 Serie A matches this season.

QUICK KICKS

Inter Milan has been charged by UEFA over the racist behavior of their fans during the team’s recent Europa League match vs. Tottenham. (REPORT)

The Times of London has admitted that they, and sportswriter Oliver Kay, were duped in their story of a “Dream Football League” in Qatar. (REPORT)

AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis has been banned for life from representing the Greek National Team after using a Nazi salute following a win on Saturday. (REPORT)

Wigan’s Callum McManaman could be banned for at least three games, after being charged by the FA following a rash challenge that injured Newcastle defender Massadio Haidara. (REPORT)

West Bromwich Albion forward Peter Odemwingie has gone on another Twitter rant against his current club. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Where do you rank Lampard in England’s all-time best? Do you see Totti catching Piola?

Share your thoughts below.

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3 Responses to Monday Kickoff: Rio pulls out of England squad; Lampard scores 200th for Chelsea, Totti moves into second place in Serie A scoring, and more

  1. Mike V. says:

    Totti is not, and I repeat is not, playing like a 36 yr. old. He is playing like a 26 yr. old. He’s having a laugh at those critics after a lackluster 2011/12 season. Totti’s legs look rejuvenated and he is playing out of his skull. He has nothing to prove but that hasn’t stopped him from playing with a chip on his shoulder. Michael Bradley is so lucky to play with such a legend. So lucky!

  2. czecho says:

    Sucks for Ferdinand but he needs to retire. Let the young boys get their chances. Same with Terry. Their infamy overshadows their talent

  3. czecho says:

    how does someone not know what a NAZI salute is? Ridiculous. There are tons of far right supporters in Greece as are left right supporters, surely he would know