Rio Ferdinand considers himself 'cursed' after a knee ligament injury ruled the England captain out of the FIFA World Cup™, his agent has revealed.
The 31-year-old was injured in a collision with Emile Heskey in England's first training session in Rustenburg and he was ruled out for up to six weeks following a scan.
It follows an injury-blighted season in which he was restricted to just 13 Premier League games for Manchester United with a debilitating back problem.
Rio said: 'I think somebody cursed me.' He cannot understand why this has happened to him.
Agent Pini Zahavi revealed the central defender's devastation but backed Ferdinand to lead England in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Zahavi told The Sun: "Rio said: 'I think somebody cursed me.' That is honestly how he feels. "Rio is very down. He cannot understand why this has happened to him.
"This injury is nothing to do with the ones he had before. It is completely different and it is very bad luck. Rio was feeling sharp and was ready for the World Cup.
"He has waited so long for this tournament and to try and help England win it. He had prepared himself so well. But he is a very strong man and he will be back.
"I'm sure he will be leading England in four years time at the next World Cup."