Former England captain Rio Ferdinand took to Twitter to defend Raheem Sterling's request to sit out a substantial chunk of England's 1-0 win over Estonia on Sunday.
During the Euro 2016 Group E qualifier, Sterling requested to go to the bench and played only the last 25 minutes, entering the contest in the 64th minute after saying he was tired.
"I don't think I'm in my best form at the moment because I'm feeling a bit tired," England manager Roy Hodgson said Sterling told him the night before the match.
The 19-year-old Sterling has appeared 14 times with England and Liverpool this season, racking up 1,105 minutes played. That is third on England's national team behind Gary Cahill and Jack Wilshere.
"We do have to take players' welfare into consideration," Hodgson said to the Associated Press. "There is going to be a situation where players suffer from both physical and mental fatigue."
Ferdinand, a longtime Manchester United defender who now plays for QPR, said that sometimes English players are too proud to admit fatigue like some of their foreign counterparts.
“For instance, Tevez would come in some days and sit on the massage bed while the team trained [saying] ‘I’m tired’, Ferdinand tweeted.
Sterling appeared to take offense to what people were saying about him.
“Excuse me for being human," Sterling said in a tweet.
- Scooby Axson