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Leicester striker Jamie Vardy quits England duty after World Cup campaign

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Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has called time on his England career by retiring from international football.

The 31-year-old has been a regular in the Three Lions squad since May 2015, making his debut as a substitute against the Republic of Ireland in June of that year.

The following season, Vardy and his Leicester teammates secured a shock title win, with the forward breaking a Premier League record by scoring 13 goals over 11 consecutive matches.

Vardy’s last appearance for England was as a substitute during the 2-1 World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia.

In total, the Sheffield-born star scored seven goals in 26 appearances for the national side.

Jamie Vardy of Leicester City looks to the sky during the match between Leicester and Swansea
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Jamie Vardy had an instrumental role in helping Leicester City win the Premier League

Vardy initially shared his thoughts with England manager Gareth Southgate at the start of the Premier League season and was given time to mull over his decision, according to Sky sources.

However, the period of reflection hasn’t altered his view.

Announcing his decision, Vardy told the Guardian: “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.”

Soccer Football - World Cup - Group G - England vs Belgium - Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad, Russia - June 28, 2018 England manager Gareth Southgate applauds their fans after the match REUTERS/Marko Djurica
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Gareth Southgate has been introducing more youthful players to the England squad

Much like Liverpool’s James Milner, Vardy has told Southgate he would be prepared to return in exceptional circumstances, such as an injury crisis or an exceptional run of form.

However, it is highly likely he won’t play for England again.

Southgate had planned to include Vardy in his squad for England’s upcoming UEFA Nations League match against Spain on 8 September.

The England manager will now use the opportunity to give other players a chance.

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