England manager Roy Hodgson has named Steven Gerrard as his captain for next month’s Euro 2012 campaign.
Scott Parker was one of several other players in contention but Hodgson said Liverpool midfielder Gerrard deserved it on merit.
Gerrard has not led his country since the Euro 2012 qualifying 3-1 away win against Switzerland on 7 September, 2010.
“In my opinion he’s the man who merits this distinction,” said Hodgson.
Former West Brom and Fulham manager Hodgson knows Gerrard well from the 64-year-old’s ill-fated six months in charge at Liverpool between July 2010 and January 2011.
Chelsea defender John Terry, who has been named in Hodgson’s squad, was stripped of the England captaincy in February. Terry is due to stand trial in July over racial abuse allegations after an incident with QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.
Tottenham midfielder Parker captained England under caretaker manager Stuart Pearce when the Netherlands won 3-2 at Wembley on 29 February.
“I know him of course, as a player, I know him as a person,” added Hodgson about Gerrard on Wednesday.
“I know how committed he is to the England cause and he was delighted last night when I told him of my decision.
“I shall be counting on him, of course, to help me as much as he possibly can to build the type of team unity and the type of environment that I think’s going to be very necessary for us to thrive in an important tournament.”