He has decided to call it quits following the World Cup
Jamie Vardy has called time on his England career.
The Leicester City striker has won 26 caps for the Three Lions, scoring seven times, and was part of the squad which reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.
But Vardy told Gareth Southgate after the tournament of his desire to retire from international duty and, following further talks a fortnight ago, has now confirmed the end of his England career.
The 31-year-old says he would consider returning to the fold should there be an injury crisis but it appears unlikely Vardy will be selected again.
“To be honest with you, this has been on my mind for a while,” Vardy told the Guardian.
“I’m not getting any younger and you can see, to be fair to the gaffer, he wants to make it more youthful, which obviously had its benefits during the World Cup – we got to the semi-finals and finished fourth, which is equal to the furthest we have ever been on foreign soil.
“So I just said to Gareth that I think it’s probably best from now on, especially with the way he wants to go, to bring youngsters in who he thinks have got the ability and start nurturing them into international football.”
Vardy made four appearances in Russia but only started one match, with Harry Kane the undisputed first-choice striker.
He believes he is likely to remain on the fringes under Southgate, and reckons it will benefit him more to remain with his club than link up with England for international games.
“When you get selected, you want to be playing,” he admitted.
“If you’re playing week in, week out for your club, you want to be going to England to play as well.
“And if it’s not happening, then for me personally now, at this age, it’s better to be at home, spending that time with my family and training with my club, preparing for the next game after the international break.”
Vardy added: “I explained it all to Gareth and he was fine with my decision.
“I mentioned it to him after the World Cup had finished, out in Russia, and then I spoke to him on the phone a couple of weeks ago.
“He let it die down a bit, so that I could have a bit more time to think, and then rang me up just to make sure I wasn’t just taking the mickey in Russia. But I hadn’t changed my mind. G
“Gareth said that he felt I still had a lot to offer, and we’ve not shut the door completely. If the worst came to happen and everyone was injured, then obviously I wouldn’t say no.”