World Cup - Paper Round: No mourners for death of Rio's career

One big story dominates all the back pages this morning: the fall-out from Rio Ferdinand walking away from England.

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World Cup - Paper Round: No mourners for death of Rio's career
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Papers 22 03 13

The Daily Express catches the mood with a picture of the Manchester United star looking suitably sulky with his headphones on beneath the headline "Over and out".

The Express's story calls into question why England boss Roy Hodgson simply said that we will "wait and see" whether there is any way back for Ferdinand when there clearly isn't.

The Daily Telegraph sees no such ambiguity: "No Way Back - Hodgson signals end of Ferdinand's career" is the headline on their sports section - and the paper's chief football writer Henry Winter gives a whimsical verdict on the press conference:

"The death of Rio Ferdinand’s England career was a gentle burial service with few mourners. The simple service overlooking the Adriatic was conducted by Roy Hodgson, who came to praise those centre-halves who reported enthusiastically for England duty, in so doing unequivocally and unemotionally burying the Qatar kid."

Winter adds that both "Ferdinand and Hodgson were looking to the future"; the ex-England captain to his impending media career, the current England manager to players who can be counted on for fitness and vigour (if not skill or experience) at next year's World Cup.

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The Daily Mirror takes a different angle, leading on Steven Gerrard's implied criticism of Ferdinand.

"Steve G puts boot in on Rio - Gerrard: I'd never turn my back on England" screams its back page with a slightly odd picture of the England skipper stretching a leg, one that seems to have been chosen solely to make it look as if the player is glaring at an inset picture of Ferdinand (once again, looking moody).

The Daily Mail takes the same line, with a picture of Gerrard next to the words: "I'd never turn my back on England - Gerrard committed to cause after Rio snub".

Inside the paper, correspondent Neil Ashton says Ferdinand "humiliated Roy Hodgson" and has become the modern day Don Revie, a reference to the manager who walked out on England in 1974 for a high-paying gig in the Middle East, and received a 10-year ban from managing in England as his punishment.

The Times's Matt Dickinson steps back from the whole affair and suggests, slightly more calmly, that it's about time we moved on after what has been a ridiculous saga stretching back to last summer:

"If this goes on much longer, audiences with Roy Hodgson might have to be billed after that Coen brothers movie, The Man Who Wasn’t There. All this talk about a certain, absent Manchester United defender and he has never even played for England under the Hodgson regime. Not once, not a minute."

On to other news, and the Daily Mail reports that Serie A front-runners Juventus will try and sign Manchester United's Javier Hernandez should they fail to tempt Luis Suarez away from Liverpool. Though considering that Juventus are nine points clear in Italy, and that the new striker will have the chance to play alongside Turin-bound Fernando Llorente, Paper Round has a feeling that the well-funded club will be able to secure a deal for anyone they want.

The Sun reports that Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea will reject any move from Barcelona in order to stay at Old Trafford.

And finally, the BBC reports that Pep Guardiola's forthcoming arrival in Germany as new manager of Bayern Munich is already being celebrated in wacky fashion by, of all people, McDonald's. The Burger chain has launched a "Hot Pep Guardinator" burger that will comprise of a chicken schnitzel in a brown bread bun with a slice of cheese, some salad, hot sauce and hot mustard.

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