England captain Rio Ferdinand: I would have paid Paul Scholes to join us at the World Cup

Defender believes United team-mate would make Three Lions even better

Rio Ferdinand believes that England would have a better opportunity of winning the World Cup if Manchester United team-mate Paul Scholes had not turned down the call to return to the Three Lions.

Scholes retired from international football six years ago, and despite a plea from England manager Fabio Capello and Ferdinand to return for the World Cup, the 35-year-old decided to reject the call.

Ferdinand is a big supporter of Scholes, who was his team-mate at the 1998 World Cup, and admits that he would have given the United legend money to join the team.

"I would have paid him to come to South Africa," Ferdinand told The Sun.

"That's no detriment to any of the other players but I think Scholesy would have added to the squad we have.

"I spoke to him but he is a very black-and-white character. No frills, no messing about.

"He thought about it with his family and came to his decision.

"Scholesy isn't the type of person who, if we do really well at the tournament, would have it burning away at him. He will be comfortable with the decision he's made.

"It's not to be, he's not coming, so we move on."

Become a fan of Goal.com UK's Facebook fan page for all the latest news and insight into everything related to the beautiful game!