Rio Ferdinand has earned his first England call-up under Roy Hodgson for the World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Montenegro.
Hodgson cited "footballing reasons" for Ferdinand's exclusion in his squad for the Euro 2012 finals and he has remained out of his plans ever since.
The Football Association also confirmed that West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster had been recalled after reversing his decision to retire from international football.
Ferdinand won the last of his 81 caps against Switzerland at Wembley in June 2011 in a Euro 2012 qualifier.
His call-up comes at a time when Phil Jagielka is sidelined with an ankle injury, Joleon Lescott has only a bit-part role at Manchester City and question marks hover over Gary Cahill's form.
Ferdinand, 34, has been in outstanding form for Manchester United this season.
Foster made himself unavailable for his country towards the end of the 2010-11 campaign because of a back problem and other injury niggles.
Hodgson, who managed Foster last season when in charge at the Baggies, was unable to persuade him to make himself available for Euro 2012.
But he received a more positive response when again recently sounding out the 29-year-old.
Foster, Albion's player of the year last season, has again been in outstanding form in their push for a Europa League spot after signing a new five-year contract in the summer.
He won the last of his five England caps against France in November 2010 and will provide competition for Joe Hart.
Hodgson is currently without the services of injured Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy while Stoke's recent signing, Jack Butland, is likely to be required for European Under-21 Championship duty this summer.
Foster will also be reunited with goalkeeping coach, Dave Watson, whom he worked with during his spell at Birmingham.
The former Manchester United player spoke recently of his burning desire to play in a major tournament for England and is now clear of his past injury problems.
There are also recalls for Tottenham duo Michael Dawson and Scott Parker. Defender Dawson won his fourth and final cap to date in a 2-0 win over Wales at the Millennium Stadium in March 2011.
Midfielder Parker, meanwhile, has not appeared since England's exit from Euro 2012 at the hands of Italy. He missed the early part of this season after having surgery on the Achilles problem.
Hodgson gave a strong hint that Ferdinand could have a prominent role to play in the double-header coming up, and possibly beyond.
He said: "A player of Rio's calibre and also of Rio's age, you don't bring them into a squad as back-ups, you bring them into the squad or the team because you want them to make the team better, to give you a better chance of winning.
"So it wouldn't take too much guesswork to work out that he's in the squad in order to play rather than to make up the numbers.
"Like all players you select, you select them because you think they're capable of doing the job you want them to do. But who knows what the future holds? 2014 is still a long way off and if Rio is still going the way he is at the moment, in 2014 he is going to be a major candidate for the squad.
"He has been playing well and his team have been playing extremely well. I think this is the moment to select him because he certainly deserves it on current form."
England squad for World Cup qualifiers against San Marino on March 22 and
Montenegro on March 26:
Foster (West Brom), Hart (Manchester City), Forster (Celtic); Baines (Everton), Cahill (Chelsea), Cole (Chelsea), Dawson (Tottenham), Ferdinand (Manchester United), Johnson (Liverpool), Smalling ( Manchester United), Walker (Tottenham); Carrick (Manchester United), Cleverley (Manchester United), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Lennon (Tottenham), Milner (Manchester City), Osman (Everton), Parker (Tottenham), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Walcott (Arsenal), Young (Manchester United); Defoe (Tottenham), Rooney (Manchester United), Sturridge (Liverpool), Welbeck (Manchester United).
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what do you think?
Recalling Ferdinand into the england squad??????????????? Thats all we need. A cheat and a trouble maker in the starting 11.
Perhaps you want terry back?
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Any1 apart from Ferdinand. The bloke is a idiot. Wears his blinkers. (Its my way or not @ all) typical manc player.
1 of only 4 world class England players and you don't want him to play because he's from MUTD , no wonder its been so long since England won anything
I still think Gary Hooper should get a chance!
rubbishhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh wheres stuart downing
really craig? how many english defenders have been more consistant with performances than rio? not much really and with most of them injured i dont see a problem. and if u wanna call him a trouble maker because of one incident then i would really like to know if suarez or roy keane or viera or cantona would have made it into the england squad. they definitely would and we all know the history of these players and the trouble they got into.
They wud all make into England squad. End ov the day we need and want new faces. Sum1 to take us into the futre. No a has bin trouble maker. And jt waz rite about rio"s bro. But he had to get on to his high horse about it. 90% ov real england fans will agree.
This about Suarez and your a red well well surprise surprise.
Craig. Well said
As a matter ov a fact i"m a Albion fan. Unlike most ov man u fans i"m not a glory hunter. Neither an arm chair fan. How many so called man u fans do u c @ old Trafford wearing the red shirt STILL wiv the pleat marks in it? Just been brought from the club shop.
Only because albion are not good enough to win anything you use an age old argument with united fans but it still comes down to bitterness & jealousy!!!!
i understand craig i don't disagree with u but england needs experience. a typical example is villa this season compared to united. altho there's alot of old men at united its helping the young guns come through where as with villa the young guns have just been thrown in expected to be performing against teams with seasoned campaigners. you still need experience in your squad and facts are that rio wont be playing 2 games in a space of 3 days but the fcat that he is with the sqaud will motivate the younger ones to give in better performances to keep him out
We've played the geriatrics for years give the young ins a chance this lot have never win a thing
More like pressure from F.A (FERGIE)
You really do talk tripe Diane Fergie should pull all united players out of the squad!!
Why insult others, I wish he would pull all united players from Engkand squad. Been watching football for 42 yrs so I never talk tripe unlike a lot of united fans.
I think Fergie would prefer he didn't play for England. If you withdrew the Man Utd players there wouldn't be many others left in the squad as there are 7 MU players, being the best team in the league by far, might actually give England a chance of winning something!!
What a pointless decision. Why make all that fuss in the summer and excluding him, listening to him cry and moan for 6mths, then recall him?? Guess its par for the course with yes man....
John the red straight in again with nonsense but guess it's par for the course hey John.
Should have been taken last summer, horses stable doors and bolts come to mind. Should have given Harry the job in the first place
The funniest thing of all, every time there is an article about a MU player or SAF, the article becomes "most commented" immediately and most of the comments are from Liverpool fans. They are either secret MU lovers or lie in wait ready to pounce. If there is a Liverpool article no one bothers as is so insignificant
good one paul. with success comes jelous fans
Hodgson has bowed to media pressure with this recall. The FA have yet again moved the olde goalposts, and are nowseemingly quite happy to have someone who was found to have racially abused another International team mate in the same team.