Rio Ferdinand admits he would have personally paid for Paul Scholes to come out of international retirement.
England boss Fabio Capello did all he could to try and tempt the Manchester United veteran back into the fold ahead of this summer's World Cup.
A similar approach to Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher proved successful, but Scholes steadfastly refused to alter his stance.
The 35-year-old is still highly regarded throughout the game and it is easy to understand why Capello was keen to have his considerable experience on board.
Ferdinand certainly believes England's chances of World Cup glory would have increased had Scholes taken the bait, and admits he would have been prepared to fund his Old Trafford team-mate's trip to South Africa.
"I spoke to him, yeah, but Scholesy is just a very black-and-white character - no frills, no messing about," said England skipper Ferdinand.
"He thought about it with his family and he came to his decision.
"But Scholesy isn't the type of person who, if we do really well at the tournament, would have it burning away at him. He will be comfortable with the decision he's made.
"But me, I would have paid him to come. That's no detriment to any of the other players who are here, but I think he would have added to the squad that we've got.
"But it's not to be. You don't cry over spilt milk. He's not coming, so we move on."
Ferdinand has also sought to play down lingering fears regarding his fitness, with the centre-half having spent far too long on the sidelines this season.
He admits he has been unfortunate with injuries of late, but is adamant that he is over the worst and ready to lead England into battle.
"I wasn't being able to move as freely as I have been able to in the past. My spine was too loose - there was no stability there," he said on a niggling back problem.
"With some players it's hard to say, 'You're not fit enough to go'. It's the World Cup and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lot of people.
"But to tell you the truth, I have never thought about missing out. I've not thought that at all.
"I've only missed three games since February, so I've been training and playing. I never had any doubts that I'd be able to go."