Ferdinand confident of Barca date

MANCHESTER: Rio Ferdinand has voiced confidence that he will be ready to play against Barcelona in the Champions League final next week, despite being told he must prove his fitness in Manchester United's final Premier League match.\

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has said Ferdinand will have to be involved in Sunday's match at Hull if he is to be trusted with the task of keeping tabs on Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto'o in Rome.

But the England centreback is confident he will have fully recovered from a calf injury that has kept him sidelined for the last three weeks.

"I've not thought about not playing in the final," the 30-year-old insisted. "It's as simple as that, no chance."

Ferdinand's chances of being ready for Barca were bolstered by the fact that he returned to full training on Wednesday and it has been suggested that Ferguson was indulging in a bit of kidology by talking up the possibility of his most experienced defender missing the final.

Ferdinand added: "You'll have to ask the manager if I'm playing, but physically I'd be able to do it, no problem."

Ferguson claimed on Wednesday that he "would not be bothered one bit" if Jonny Evans had to deputise for Ferdinand.

The United boss also indicated that Ireland defender John O'Shea would start at right-back in preference to Brazilian teenager Rafael.

"John takes his place in Rome because he deserves it," Ferguson said. "He is ahead of everyone now. To my mind he is one of the unsung heroes, like we had when Denis Irwin was here."