In the lead-up to the 2006 World Cup, Rio Ferdinand had a hidden camera prank show called "Rio's World Cup Wind-Ups." Now, as England navigate the qualifying process for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, manager Roy Hodgson has revived the program with his own twist. And just five months after saying that Ferdinand's England career was over, Hodgson has named Ferdinand in the squad for their upcoming qualifiers. Or has he? The following is a transcript of Hodgson breaking the news to Ferdinand.
Hodgson: Rio! It's Roy Hodgson, how are you doing?
Ferdinand: Fine. I didn't think you had the balls to speak to me again, so I have to say it's a bit of a shock to hear from you, Roy.
Hodgson: I'm sure it is. I'm sure it is. But hey -- I just wanted to tell you personally that I'm recalling you to the England squad. So what do you say? Are you up for it? This definitely isn't a television joke, by the way.
Ferdinand: Of course I'm up for it. But I didn't expect this. I thought you left me out in the cold after that business with John Terry and my brother.
Hodgson: Wait, this is John Terry I'm speaking to isn't it? Because that's who I intended to reach here.
Ferdinand: What? No. This is Rio Ferdinand. Rio. Do you want to get slapped?
Hodgson: Hahaha, I'm only joking. It's you I want, Rio. You've been in great form of late. I've been impressed by your ability to sarcastically clap at referees and abuse Fernando Torres without any repercussions whatsoever. These are qualities England desperately need. And again, this definitely isn't being recorded for a television program in which I prank people.
Ferdinand: Good. That's good to hear. But what are my chances of being on the plane to Brazil next year? I'm not coming back just so I can be ditched again when the World Cup comes around.
Hodgson: I'll tell you this, Rio. I was having a think the other day and realized that your first name is also a major city in Brazil and since that's where the World Cup is, there's the possibility for some wonderfully fun newspaper headlines that I just can't pass up. We need you in Rio, Rio. We need you.
Ferdinand: Even though I'm 34?
Hodgson: Not a concern at all. David Beckham's 37.
Ferdinand: But he hasn't played for England in years.
Hodgson: Until now. I'll be speaking to him right after this. He's back in the squad too. The real squad. Not one I'm pretending to create for a practical joke show called something silly like "Roy's World Cup Call-Up Wind-Ups." Because that would just be ridiculous and very, very funny.
Ferdinand: This is all music to my ears. I'm buzzing. I can't wait to get to work.
Hodgson: There's just one more thing, Rio.
Ferdinand: What's that?
Hodgson: You got werk'd!
Ferdinand: Excuse me?
Hodgson: You got werk'd! This really was for my new prank show! You're not in the squad. "Roy's World Cup Call-Up Wind-Ups" is real even though I said it wasn't. You got werk'd!
Ferdinand: I can't believe this. You're a sick man, Roy Hodgson. A really sick old egg.
Hodgson: I got you good, Rio. But seriously, I am going to call up David Beckham.