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Defoe never quit England duty

Jermain Defoe insists he has never pulled out of international duty for England, amid claims from Harry Redknapp that some Tottenham Hotspur players had asked him to withdraw them.

Redknapp, who managed Spurs between 2008 and 2012, said that a number of players during his time at White Hart Lane had asked to be excused from representing the national team, but the now QPR boss refused to give any names.

Defoe missed out on Roy Hodgson's squad for the World Cup this summer following a January move to MLS side Toronto FC and he could not hide his disappointment at being omitted.

The 31-year-old has 55 international caps to his name and was one of a host of English stars that played under Redknapp at Spurs, but he says that playing for England has always filled him with pride.

"I've always been available for England and not once pulled out of a squad when I'm not injured," he told the Sun.

"Playing for my country has been the pinnacle of my career.

"When Roy Hodgson rang me to say I was not in the squad this summer, it was the most devastating news I'd ever received.

He added: "I still want to play for my country because all I have ever done is score goals and, if called upon, I will be on a plane to play for England."