ASHLEY YOUNG insists he’ll never retire from England duty – even though he thought making their 55-man World Cup squad was a ‘joke’.
And the 39-cap star is sticking to his word after confirming to Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate four years ago he would always be available.
“I am not retiring so if you ever need me, if you ever want to recall me, you can do, as long as I am playing well. It is down to you’.”
Young was a surprise inclusion in Southgate’s long-list of players for Qatar 2022 in recent weeks, although he was never a serious contender to make the final 26.
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But he said: “To get in this 55 for Qatar shows you I must have been doing something right.
“I was joking with someone from the FA who messaged me about the squad. I was like ‘This has to be a joke, surely?’
“I will retire from international football when I retire from football. I can still play at the highest level.
“I always say to players, just never give up on your dream — I never gave up.”
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Yet Young admits it still ‘kills’ him discussing Croatia’s comeback win in Russia four years ago.
He said: “I cannot watch it. We should have won it. We should have got to the final.
“Even now, it kills me trying to talk about it. I don’t like hearing about the game, either.
“I know how good an opportunity we had as a group. We were naive in the second half.”