Date: 13th October 2014 at 3:19pm
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Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has defended Raheem Sterling for his request to be left out of the England starting line up due to fatigue.

Sterling has been criticised in some quarters for his request, however Ferdinand has defended the 19-year-old, saying via Twitter that the national team would benefit if more followed Sterling’s lead.

He tweeted: “Fair play to him. English players are normally too proud to do that unlike our foreign friends.”

Sterling – who has played 1,079 minutes of football this season – defended himself on Twitter by saying: “Excuse me for being human. On my way home.”

The 19-year-old came on in the 64th minute, and made an impact on the game winning the free kick for Wayne Rooney to score the winner.

Ferdinand continued: “Tevez would come in some days and sit on the massage bed while the team trained. “I’m tired”… match day – firing and energised.

“With more rest at the right times throughout seasons, Rooney would have gone into tournaments for England fresher 100%. Too proud again.

“Same could be said of Gerrard, [Frank] Lampard, John Terry, Ashley Cole myself etc – all too proud to sit out of training or a match with the bigger picture in mind.

“Going by many of the responses on here – because players earn a fortune they cannot get tired. Leave off!”