Vardy and Cahill step back from England duty

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has taken a "step back" from England duty and striker Jamie Vardy has also made himself unavailable.

Published : Aug 28, 2018 18:50 IST

Jamie Vardy and Gary Cahill have confirmed that they will be taking a step back from England duty, although they are not retiring from international football.

Both players were part of Gareth Southgate's squad for the World Cup, where England suffered a semifinal loss at the hands of Croatia. 

Cahill, 32, has yet to appear in the Premier League for Chelsea this season, but Vardy is a key man for Leicester City, although he is currently serving a suspension after being sent off against Wolves.

The Foxes forward, who has 26 caps, explained that he believes it is time for Southgate to put faith in younger players ahead of England's Nations League campaign. "To be honest with you, this has been on my mind for a while," Vardy, 31, told The Guardian .

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"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 semifinals 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."

Cahill, who made one appearance at Russia 2018, confirmed that he would be open to returning to England duty should he be required by Southgate.

"In terms of my international future, I think it is time I take a step back and now I feel that is the right moment," the centre-back told Chelsea TV .

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"I have been hugely proud in terms of what I have achieved, in terms of over 60 caps and I have captained my country on a few occasions which has been a huge honour, and something I have been really proud of in my career."

"Three major tournaments and it should have been four. So, I have played pretty solidly over the years I have been involved. I have been hugely honoured to have played for my country and I would never shut the door. If I was needed in the future, then obviously, I am there."

"Such is my relationship to the manager, he was fantastic and at the end of the tournament I had a good chat with him and he could see where I was coming from, he understood the situation and the same time we didn't want to shut the door. It has been a huge honour and I am hugely grateful to the managers for the caps that I have had."

Vardy indicated the possibility of being called up for squads but not playing regularly had an impact on his decision, with the striker typically playing second fiddle to World Cup Golden Boot winner Harry Kane.

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"When you get selected, you want to be playing. If you're playing week in, week out for your club, you want to be going to England to play as well," add Vardy, who signed a four-year Leicester contract this month. 

"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, like Cahill, said that he could play for England again should he be needed due to an injury crisis. "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," said Vardy.

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"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."

"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."

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