Jamie Vardy is looking to end a fairytale season with Leicester by getting married and then scoring the goals to lead England to European Championship success in France.
The 29-year-old was named Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year 2016 during a ceremony at the Landmark Hotel in London.
The Leicester striker was a key figure in the East Midlands’ outfit securing the most unexpected Premier League title success and is set to be included in England’s squad for this summer in France.
And the former Fleetwood man is looking to continue his latest successes, which included an 11-game scoring streak to break the Premier League record.
“As players we learn to take the rough with the smooth,” he said.
“So much has been written about me and Leicester this season, it is amazing to see my name alongside so many legends (named FWA Footballer of the Year).
“One thing I would like to say is that my relationship with the media hasn’t always been an easy one but it has been made clear to me that I need to make a distinction between football writers and those who don’t know anything about the game…although I’m still struggling to make that given most of you thought we would get relegated this season.
“I’d like to thank my future wife, who has been by my side through so much, we get married in a couple of weeks and it would be the icing on the cake this summer if I get selected and we win the Euros.”
Vardy also made reference to his now famous Tweet during his time at Fleetwood.
“It is hard for me to get my head around this whirlwind, in 2011 I tweeted ‘chat s**t, get banged’ and no-one cared whatsoever,” he added.
“This past week or so, I put a picture of my favourite kids’ film on Twitter and it turns it into meltdown.
“I’m the same man, I grew up watching my team Sheffield Wednesday, I was any normal kid who knows what it is like to be rejected for being too small. I have made mistakes, but I have always given 110 per cent. ”
Ranieri on Vardy heroics
Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri praised the team ethic that helped deliver the most spectacular title win to the King Power Stadium.
But the Italian also reserved special commendation for Vardy, the man who has scored 24 league goals this season to fire Leicester to the championship.
“I was told that Riyad Mahrez was our light, but Jamie was our gun, he was out in front and fought against everyone,” he said.
“We fight behind him, we didn’t want to leave him alone to press. Everyone behind him was a family.
“I was very happy when he scored the 11th successive goal against Manchester United. Very well done.
“He was unlucky with the last penalty (against Everton) but every champion makes a mistake. In the last match he can fight against Harry Kane (for the golden boot) why not? Believe Jamie.”
Vardy is now set to travel with England for the European Championship having scored his first international goal in the recent 3-2 friendly win over Germany.
Although Roy Hodgson has delayed his squad announcement until Monday, the England boss had written his programme notes before the decision was made to cancel Thursday’s press call and all-but intimated Vardy would be involved.
“I can’t recall an English player in recent times who has enjoyed such a spectacular season – both as an individual and as part of a Premier League-winning team,” he wrote.
“This afternoon I named my squad of 23 who will travel to France and represent England in Euro 2016.
“For all of those 23 players named – but this year in particular the strikers – they are at the pinnacle of their game, have seen off fierce competition for their squad place and proved their worth over a sustained period of time.
“And Jamie – there is no need to pinch yourself, you’re not dreaming.”
Lineker praises Vardy
Former Leicester striker turned BBC pundit Gary Lineker also took to the stage to praise a man who has joined him as one of the city’s favourite sons.
“I still can’t really get my head around the fact that Leicester City, the team I have watched and supported since I was the height of N’Golo Kante have gone on to win the Premier League,” he said.
“If they had written it as fiction they would have torn up the script as impossible. Now we hear Hollywood are captivated.
“A young man who lands himself in trouble but redeems himself and goes, in four years, from playing non-League football to the team that win the Premier League title and then goes on to score the goals that lead England to Euro 2016 glory – it hasn’t happened yet.
“Jamie’s game is not just about goals, this fella is tough. Any player than can run for 90 minutes, even with a bandage on his arm, is good for me. The likes of Bayern. Barca and Benfica won’t know what has hit them next season (in the Champions League).”