Jermain Defoe will "never give up" his dream of playing for England again but fears he won't be picked even if he is the Premier League's golden boot winner.
The 34-year-old is the leading English scorer in the top flight and only Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane have netted more in 2016.
But the Sunderland striker has not featured in successive Three Lions squads and says he has heard nothing from new national boss, Gareth Southgate.
"Whatever I do, I never give up," Defoe said in an interview with talkSPORT.
"People come up to me and say 'why are you not in the England squad?' and I never know what to say.
"When I was in the England squad, I was in on merit, I was scoring goals and playing well.
"It's not that I've given up, but it gets to a point when I think it almost doesn't matter what I do.
"Even if I get the golden boot I don't think I'd get called up."
You have to go back to 2013 for the last of his 55 England caps, as a second-half sub against Chile at Wembley.
The last of his 19 goals England goals came in March 2013, when he bagged a brace away to San Marino.
He was overlooked by Roy Hodgson for the European Championship during the summer and was not included in his World Cup squad two years ago either.
Defoe, speaking to presenters Andy Goldstein and Jason Cundy, said he would not like Black Cats boss David Moyes to approach Southgate about the situation.
"I wouldn't want that," said the in-form forward, who has eight goals this term. "I want to be in control of my own destiny when I go out onto the pitch.
"I always give 100% and if I get a chance I believe I'll score.
"I don't like speaking about it really and in a way I want to let my football do the talking."
The striker was appearing on talkSPORT to promote the Jermain Defoe Foundation.
The organisation was set up by the Londoner in 2013 to support homeless and vulnerable young people in his family’s home country of St Lucia.
To learn more about it, log on tojermaindefoefoundation.org