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Sunderland star Defoe: What Hodgson told me before England snub…

Jermain Defoe has recalled his swift conversation with former England manager Roy Hodgson.

The Sunderland striker, then with MLS club Toronto FC, was left out of Hodgson's squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"We only had one conversation with him on the phone," Defoe said.

"Up until then I had played a full season with Tottenham. It was a quick conversation, 'You are not included'.

"I was scoring goals, so maybe I felt like I had done enough to still go to the tournament, but obviously it was not meant to be.

"It was a hard phone call to accept because I felt in my heart I did enough to get on the plane."

Former Tottenham Hotspur star Defoe admits his decision to leave North America for a Premier League return was motivated by his desire to again play for his country.

He added: "I sat back (in Toronto) and thought if I have still got that ambition to play for England I need to be playing in the Premier League again.

"That was probably behind my decision to come back."

Since joining the Black Cats from Toronto, 34-year-old Defoe has scored 36 goals in 84 appearances in all competitions, including tallying 14 times in 28 Premier League matches this term.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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