Jermain Defoe: 'I never pulled out of England squad'

England's Jermain Defoe eyes the ball during the World Cup 2014 qualifying football match between San Marino and England at Serravalle Stadium in San Marino on March 22, 2013
© Getty Images
Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe insists that he never pulled out of international duty for England, following Harry Redknapp's claims this week.

Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe has insisted that he never pulled out of international duty for England, amid Harry Redknapp's claims that several players wanted to snub international duty while he was Spurs boss.

Redknapp said this week that a number of players approached him in a bid to get out of playing for the Three Lions during his time at White Hart Lane.

Defoe, who now plays for Toronto FC, missed out on a place in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the World Cup this summer.

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

"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."

Redknapp has stated that he will not reveal the names of the players who did not want to play for England.

QPR manager Harry Redknapp on the touchline during his team's match against Burnley on October 26, 2013
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