Jermain Defoe still hopeful of World Cup place

Defoe still hopeful of World Cup place
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Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe is still hopeful of making England's World Cup squad despite agreeing a deal to join Toronto FC at the end of February.

Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe has insisted that he is still hopeful of making England's World Cup squad despite agreeing a deal to join Toronto FC at the end of February.

Defoe's chances of being in Roy Hodgson's squad for Brazil were called into question when he decided to join the Canadian club due to the perceived lack of quality in the MLS compared to the Premier League.

The 31-year-old has admitted that that factor did cross his mind before he signed the contract, but is hopeful that he has shown enough during his time in England for Hodgson to know what he can do.

"I have to be honest, I did think about the chances of going to the World Cup. It is always important to play well for your club. Having played in a World Cup before it is just the greatest thing in the world, it is a dream come true, that is why you play football, to play in a major tournament and at that level," Defoe told reporters at his official unveiling in Canada.

"Yeah, it did cross my mind, but at the same time I believe the MLS is going to be fantastic for me, and it is important to be playing. To get into any World Cup or European Championship squad for your country, it is based on merit, which means you have to play well, be fit and ready. The most important thing for me is playing football, scoring my goals and doing well for the team.

"Hopefully I can be on the plane. I have played in the Premier League all of my career, scored a lot of goals and at the age of 31 I would like to think the England manager and everyone in England knows what I can do, can bring for the country, and if selected, I will be ready."

Defoe is currently the fifth highest goalscorer in Tottenham history and has netted 19 times in 55 appearances for his country.

Jermain Defoe of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace on January 11, 2014
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