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The centre-back was included by the manager for Euro 2012 somewhat controversially after he left out Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand over fears the two may clash

Roy Hodgson believes John Terry has justified his selection in England's Euro 2012 squad by delivering a series of professional performances following the controversy of leaving Rio Ferdinand out.

The 64-year-old opted to go with the Chelsea defender despite the fact that he is facing a charge of racial abuse towards Anton Ferdinand, and decided not to include his brother Rio due to 'footballing reasons.'

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Hodgson told BBC Sport: "He has brought his good form, from the end of the season, with him into the tournament.

"It is nice that he has formed such a good partnership with Joleon Lescott."

His partnership with Lescott at the back has helped England progress to the quarter-finals and, having finished top of Group D, Hodgson will be hoping the defensive duo can thwart Italy in Kiev on Sunday.

He explained: "Obviously Gary Cahill getting injured decreased the competition for places and really, from the first minute, he and Joleon have hit things off and their play together is very, very important to us."

The defensive strategies adopted by England throughout the tournament has seen them draw comparisons with this weekend's opposition and Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi even described England as a "very Italian team."

Hodgson appeared to entertain the comments, saying: "I would have thought that it was meant that they recognise the professionalism of the team and the fact that the players play for each other and there's a very good team spirit and organisation.

"I'd think he probably meant it as a compliment. But of course, when people say things like that, they are also patting themselves on the back and suggesting that trying to be Italian should be at the top of the list of everyone's priorities."

Despite Italy's greater success on the international stage, Hodgson maintains Serie A is still inferior to the Premier League, but feels it is time that England transferred domestic form into national glory.

He added: "There has been far more of an exodus from Serie A to the Barclays Premier League than there has been in the other direction. Things have changed enormously in both countries.

"There is no doubt that English football, I suppose, has enjoyed a very good period. Unfortunately, it hasn't always translated to the national team, as we know, and that is something that we are trying to put right."


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