Former on-pitch rivals Rio Ferdinand and Robbie Savage have joined forces off the field to support The FA Mars ‘Just Play’ programme and make their small-screen debuts.

The two Twitter Superstars (oh and they played a bit of football at some point too…) are inspiring adults to get off the sofa and back into playing the beautiful game, the video sees the duo star alongside England Women’s international Rachel Yankey.

Posing the question “to play or not to play”, Rio, Robbie and Rachel list the endless excuses we’ve all heard players give as they swerve a kick-about with their mates.

Never ones to shirk a challenge, Ferdinand and Savage’s direct deliveries are set against a series of comical scenes illustrating what happens to players when they hang up their boots too soon. So rather than being under the thumb, out of breath and a single player the message is simple: Get out there and play while you still can.

While the film takes a comical look at the grassroots game it is designed to convey a helpful message as part of The FA Mars Just Play programme. The initiative aims to provide flexible formats of the game and get 150,000 new participants playing for at least 30 minutes a week by September 2013 as well as deliver a total of 3.9m hours of extra football played each year throughout England.

The FA and Mars aim to create over 100 FA Mars Just Play centres across the country, delivering casual football sessions involving old favourites such as heads and volleys, World Cup and head tennis, and a whole host of new games for players of all abilities.

Having recently retired from professional football himself, former Derby County midfielder and FA Mars Just Play ambassador Robbie Savage said: “People will always find excuses and reasons as to why they don’t play football anymore – life tends to take over. Just Play gives both men and women the opportunity to fit the game around their everyday commitments so they don’t have to hang up their football boots.

The FA and Mars have created this programme so that no matter what your ability or level of experience you can continue to play the game you love and have fun with your mates.”

The Just Play programme is part of The FA’s National Game Strategy, a £200 million pound investment into grassroots football, which has so far arrested the decline in 11 a-side organised football. The stabilisation of our national game has been achieved by The FA recognising adults need for a range of flexible formats of the game alongside the traditional Saturday and Sunday organised leagues.

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