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Rio Ferdinand has revealed his determination to finally appear in a European Championship tournament.
But he warned England to expect a tougher test from Russia in Wednesday's crucial qualifier than in last month's 3-0 win at Wembley.

Ferdinand has participated in the latter stages of three World Cup finals in 1998, 2002 and 2006 but has missed out on the UEFA competition.

Gareth Barry, operating at that time as a central defender for Aston Villa, pipped him for the final spot in Kevin Keegan's squad for Euro 2000 in Belgium and Holland.

Then in 2004 Ferdinand was half-way through a ban after he had failed to attend a routine drugs test at Manchester United's Carrington training ground and unable to participate in Portugal.

He is keen to end that sequence as England finalise preparations for the game on the plastic pitch in Moscow where the stakes could not be higher and has faith in the "big game" players in the squad.

A win will take Steve McClaren's side through to next summer's finals, a draw will keep their destiny in their own hands and a defeat will hand the initiative back to the Russians.

Ferdinand said: "I'd like to get to a European Championship finals. I've been to three World Cups now but I've not been to a Euro finals.

"It is something I'd really like to tick off on my 'to do' list but with this one hopefully I can go one better than in the World Cups and win it.

"Every game is massive but, when there is stuff at risk and at the end of it there is silverware or a qualification campaign to be sown up, hopefully you will see the best of our players.

"If you look around the squad, a lot of them are big game players and, when it matters, they normally come up trumps and it is about us doing the job collectively, not as individuals on Wednesday.

"England have got the result when it really matters such as in Rome against Italy and Istanbul against Turkey. We've got the result in those games before and why not now?

"I couldn't play in Istanbul (because of suspension). You got a sense beforehand looking at the lads that they were up for it and they went out there and got the result that was needed."

Ferdinand is aware the Russians will be out to avenge the defeat at Wembley but insists England will be bubbling with confidence and belief ahead of the game.

He said: "We beat Russia 3-0 last time quite convincingly, we are in a good vein of form at the moment, scoring goals, not conceding so we couldn't go into the game in any better shape so we are quietly confident.

"But we are under no illusions. It will be a tough game when we get out there. I expect them to be more at us. I think they are going to ask us more questions this time.

"I think at the beginning of the second half at our place, they asked us a few questions. Maybe it was down to us not starting the second half in the right manner but there were signals at different times in that game that they are quality.

"If we give them time and space to play, they will be able to hurt us. They got behind us a few times and they are things we will be thinking about.

"We came in after that game speaking amongst ourselves knowing it would be a different game out there. They are going to ask more questions than any team since Croatia did to be honest."
 
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