Ferdinand tells footballers to `banish their booze demons`

London: Ahead of the friendly against France, England defender Rio Ferdinand has delivered a sermon on the drawbacks of drinking, saying that alcohol should be enjoyed only in moderation.

"Responsibility is a big thing. As a young player, it took me a while to understand the responsibilities of a footballer, but the sooner you learn that the fewer mistakes you`ll make over your career,".

"Nowadays you have a game Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday. There`s no room in that time frame to go out on the lash and get smashed, the way you used to," he added.

The 32-year-old further said that drinking was part of the culture when he was growing up, but insists that "things have changed".

"Nowadays, you can`t afford to do that. You`re playing against teams who are physically in tip-top condition. If you`re going out you are not going to be in the same physical condition. You can`t do yourself or your team justice," Ferdinand said.

"If you`ve got a free week, there`s no problem going out, enjoying yourself and letting your hair down. You don`t have to live like a monk. But you`ve got to pick and choose your right times," he added.