The England skipper had now clocked up 80 caps.
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32 Date of Birth
80Caps in 2010
For the second year running, injury played a big part in the England captain's campaign as he again made only four appearances out of 12 for the Three Lions - but all with the armband.
And his absence from the World Cup was duly noted, none more so than by Rio himself, who had featured in the two previous World Cups in Germany and Korea/Japan. A knee ligament injury suffered in training eight days before England's first game in South Africa forced him out of the tournament, and he was replaced by Michael Dawson.
“The first day [the injury] happened was a bit of a long day and evening, just going over the emotions of what could have and what might have been. Everything being taken from underneath your feet – being able to lead your country into a major tournament – it’s just a massive disappointment."
Rio had already missed the first game of 2010, against Egypt, but returned to the squad in time for the World Cup preparations and captained the team in both warm-up matches against Mexico and Japan.
However, back problems meant he didn't return to the side until October when he led his country out against Montenegro and again a month later versus France, both at Wembley.
"When I returned, I wasn't sure if I would be captain or not," said the former West Ham United and Leeds United defender as he prepared for the meeting with Montenegro. "I was more concerned about being in the squad and being fit.
"It's a great honour to be named England captain and it's great to be playing again."
With 80 caps to his name now, Rio is the 14th most capped England player of all time, and in 2010 he overtook five legends; John Barnes, Gary Lineker, Stuart Pearce, Terry Butcher and Tom Finney.
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