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The Portugal forward was amazed by his former team-mate's exclusion from the Three Lions squad, adding that the Manchester United defender is Hodgson's best centre-back

Cristiano Ronaldo has expressed his disbelief at Rio Ferdinand’s exclusion from the England squad for Euro 2012, praising the defender as “one of the best”.

In the lead-up to Roy Hodgson’s announcement of his squad, debate focused on whether either of John Terry or Ferdinand would make the cut due to the Chelsea captain facing charges of allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, the younger brother of the Manchester United star.

The new England manager demands players act like adults at Euro 2012

Hodgson opted to pick Terry and drop Ferdinand for the upcoming tournament, a decision that has been met with mixed views.

However, Ronaldo is disappointed for his former United team-mate, and struggled to comprehend the new England manager's decision. 

Speaking at the 'Castrol EDGE Presents #RonaldoLIVE' event attended, the Real Madrid man said: “It surprised me a lot. I don’t understand why [Ferdinand was left out].

“He is still one of the best centre-backs in the world. I have to be honest, Rio is a great player, a great man, he should be there.

“He could help to make a good team for the tournament. But it’s the decision of the coach, and we have to respect it.

“I haven’t called him yet, but I will do.”

Although Ronaldo is adamant Ferdinand should be playing for England this summer, he does not feel Terry should have missed out either.

Indeed he added that he believes the Chelsea captain is a great player, but the Portuguese superstar is under no illusions as to which one is better.

You can’t compare them [Ferdinand and Terry]. Terry is a fantastic player too, and both should be at national team," he added.

“Rio especially, because Rio is England’s best centre-back for me.”