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Leicester and England striker Jamie Vardy hoping to complete non-league to World Cup fairy tale


England’s Jamie Vardy knows his standards need to be high if his dream journey from non-league to the World Cup is to become a reality.

The 30-year-old’s fairy-tale ascent is well-documented, having rapidly gone from spearheading Stocksbridge Park Steels to Leicester City’s remarkable Premier League triumph.

Vardy’s performances have led him to become an England regular, scoring six goals in 17 appearances and earning a place in the Euro 2016 squad.

The forward is now hoping to add a World Cup chapter to his remarkable story, but knows he has to be performing well after seeing Gareth Southgate cut regulars struggling for minutes and form.

“It’s massive,” Vardy said of the prospect of going to Russia.

“I know first and foremost I’ve got to be doing well for my club to be within a chance of being selected.

“First and foremost I’ve got to put in all my effort for Leicester when I am obviously not on international breaks and hopefully my performances will make me warrant that place.

“I think (my form this season) started off alright and kind of slowed a bit, but all-in-all I think it has gone OK.”

Vardy is well aware of the competition he faces for an attacking berth with England, although this week he has a chance to underline his credentials given the number of absentees.

Southgate’s injury-hit side end 2017 with a friendly against Brazil next Tuesday, just days after welcoming Germany to Wembley.

Friday’s match brings back fond memories as Vardy’s first international goal came in the memorable 3-2 win in the world champions’ backyard in March 2016.

“I just remember we broke on Germany and it ended up with Nathaniel Clyne, who was bombing down from right-back, all the way up to the complete opposite end of the field,” Vardy said in a radio interview withtalkSPORT.

“He crossed it just behind me and I just flicked a leg out hoping to get a connection and I think I got the sweetest connection I could have ever wished for and it flew in, luckily.

“I think you can say it is definitely up there (with the best English displays I’ve been involved in). Although it was a friendly, it showed what we’re about.

“Obviously 2-0 to down to come back and win 3-2 on their home soil as well just showed what the boys can do and what we can achieve against the tough opponents.

“I think that’s one of the main reasons why we’ve got the games coming up against the best that there is so that we can try and test ourselves.

“We need to try and get the consistency going with the run of six games before the World Cup itself starts.

“So if we can get some decent results and get the consistency going and take that consistency into Russia then that’ll definitely be an added bonus.”



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