Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has effectively retired from international football. The 31-year-old Vardy was part of the England squad which reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and served as back-up to Harry Kane in the forwards department.
Vardy had notified Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate that he was considering retiring from international football and it now appears that he will not play during the UEFA Nation League games against Spain and Switzerland.
Vardy broke into the England team at the late age of 28 during the 2015-16 season. This happened to be the same season when Leicester City pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Football history and went on to win the World Cup. During his international career, he went on to make 26 appearances for England and scored several goals.
While he still has a lot to offer to professional football, Vardy is making the correct decision by retiring from international football. England has a promising young generation coming up and should start grooming their younger talent if they wish to win a major tournament in the near future.
This does mean that it is the right time for older players such as Gary Cahill and Vardy to step aside. At this stage of his career, it is also unlikely that Vardy would want to serve as third or fourth choice in his position under Southgate.
He can now devote more of his time to helping Leicester and can also avoid the stresses that come with playing international football. In addition to being part of England’s 2018 World Cup squad, Vardy was also part of Roy Hodgson’s squad which played at Euro 2016.
During an interview with The Guardian, Vardy said: “To be honest with you, this has been on my mind for a while.
“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.”
The veteran did however add that he would be willing to come back and serve his country if they were in an emergency situation.
He said: “if the worst came to happen and everyone was injured.”