Jermain Defoe is hoping to push for a spot in England’s 2018 World Cup squad, but knows he is unlikely to land it unless he is playing in the Premier League.
Defoe is in contention to appear in a friendly in Germany on Wednesday night, with Jamie Vardy and Marcus Rashford the only other fit strikers in the squad.
A trip to Russia next summer seems a long shot but Defoe continues to defy traditional logic, closing in on his best ever tally for goals in a Premier League season.
He told Sky Sports News: “Of course.
“Just going to a tournament - the travel, the hotels, playing the games - it is something you have always wanted to do.
“Growing up I watched the greats do it - I have been lucky enough to experience it twice.
“It would be a dream to go to a major tournament.”
The 34-year-old has been the talisman again in Sunderland’s campaign to beat the drop, maintaining his performance despite intense transfer speculation at the start of the year.
His commitment to the Sunderland cause will remain strong on his return but looking ahead, Defoe knows any international revival requires top level football.
He said: “You have to be realistic.
“To get in any squad it is on merit and you have to be playing at the top level.
“I missed out on a World Cup while I was at Toronto.
“But you have to be realistic.
“You have to be playing in Premier League but we will see what happens.”