Jamie Vardy could have lasted three more years for England, says boss

Jamie Vardy has asked England boss Gareth Southgate not to to call him up for international matches unless there are injury issues
Jamie Vardy has asked England boss Gareth Southgate not to to call him up for international matches unless there are injury issues

Leicester boss Claude Puel believes Jamie Vardy could play for England for another three years.

The Sheffield-born striker has decided to step away from international football to focus on his club career and spend more time with his family.

Vardy, 31, told England boss Gareth Southgate he would quit before they returned from the World Cup in Russia.

Puel spoke with Vardy at the start of the month about his decision and did not try to change his mind but feels he could have continued for the Three Lions.

He said: "It was, for me, the same thing when he was an international player and he played for us. He can continue a lot for two or three seasons (for England) but it's his decision and I respect this.

"He is a fantastic player but his first quality is his desire and fighting spirit. He likes running, to win battles and he's a fantastic player.

"With this good attitude will you perform in the future, of course.

"Am I surprised? I don't know, I think it's personal. The player feels at the moment to stop and to continue his (club) career.

"We have to respect this. It's so difficult to manage a career with his club, his international games, travel, competitions. If he can continue with his club to keep his desire it's a good choice."

Vardy remains open to a return to help if Southgate suffers an injury crisis - along with Chelsea's Gary Cahill who has also stepped down - and won 26 caps, scoring seven goals.

Team-mate Christian Fuchs retired from Austria duty after Euro 2016 and believes Vardy can be proud of what he achieved with the Three Lions.

He said: "We are happy to have Jamie because he is a great player and great goal-scorer who is always there when we need him. I think it is a personal decision for him. I don't see the benefit of him standing back or not.

"He can be proud he played for the national team and we are proud how he performed at the World Cup in the squad , like the same as Harry.

"Having him around full-time is good because the banter will grow, we are happy to have him."