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Wayne Bridge, left, consoles England teammate John Terry following defeat at the 2006 World Cup Germany. ((Shaun Botterill/Getty Images))

Exit John Terry. Enter Rio Ferdinand.

Ferdinand has replaced Terry as captain of England ahead of this summer's World Cup in South Africa, the Chelsea defender paying the ultimate price for being embroiled in a sex scandal involving the ex-girlfriend of English teammate Wayne Bridge.

Terry, 29, was formally stripped of the captain's armband by English national team manager Fabio Capello following a brief meeting between the two at London's Wembley Stadium on Friday.

Life and times of John Terry

  • Born on Dec. 7, 1980 in London.
  • Joined Chelsea when he was 14 (as a trainee) before going on loan at Nottingham Forest in 2000.
  • Ahead of this weekend's slate of games, he has scored 19 goals in 296 Premiership games for Chelsea
  • Led Chelsea to Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, two FA Cups (in 2007 and 2009) and two League Cup trophies (2005 and 2007).
  • Squandered a chance to win the 2008 UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United — his penalty in the shootout hit the post.
  • Has scored six goals in 58 appearances for England since making his debut in 2003.
  • Served as captain for 14 games under coach Fabio Capello, with England losing only two of those matches.
  • Stripped of English captaincy by Capello on Feb. 5 after media reports about an alleged extramarital affair with the ex-girlfriend of Wayne Bridge.

"After much thought, I have made the decision that it will be best for me to take the captaincy away from John Terry," Capello said in a statement. "As a captain with the team, John Terry has displayed extremely positive behaviour.

"However, I have to take into account other considerations and what is best for all of the England squad. What is best for all of the England team has inspired my choice."

Terry is still expected to be named to Capello's 23-man roster for the World Cup, which kicks off on June 11. Bridge has hinted that he was considering retiring from the national team.

"I fully respect Fabio Capello's decision," Terry said in a statement. "I will continue to give everything for England."

Ferdinand, a 31-year-old defender with Manchester United, immediately takes over the captain's duties, Capello stated.

Terry's tenure as captain began being called into question after recent reports surfaced he had an extramarital affair with the ex-girlfriend of Bridge. Last week, the English High Court lifted an injunction preventing the details of the alleged affair between Terry and Vanessa Perroncel, a French actress and lingerie model, from being published in the media.

At the time of the affair, Terry and Bridge were teammates at English Premier League club Chelsea, and played alongside each other on England's national team. Terry married his long-term girlfriend, Toni Poole, in 2007, while Bridge and Perroncel split last year.

Countless column inches in the top English daily newspapers and tabloids have pontificated on the controversy, while one high-profile politician had questioned Terry's role as England captain.

CBC Sports soccer commentator Jason de Vos, a former captain of the Canadian national team, believed Terry should have stepped down as captain and not leave it up to Capello to decide his fate.

"If John Terry had any integrity, he would acknowledge that his behaviour has made his captaincy untenable," de Vos wrote in a blog  for CBCSports.ca. "He cannot lead a group of players that do not as a whole respect him, and for the good of the team he should resign his position as captain."

With 58 caps to his credit, Terry has been a mainstay with the English national team ever since making his debut made his debut in June 2003. He was given the captain's armband on a full-time basis by former England coach Steve McClaren in 2006, succeeding David Beckham.

Capello opted to retain him as English captain after he took over as coach of the national team in 2007.