Michael Owen has revealed his desire to return to the England set-up after a four-year absence from the international stage.
The Stoke City forward, who joined the club as a free agent in September after being released by Manchester United, has made just two appearances for his new side as he continues his rehabilitation from the injuries which curtailed his first-team exposure last season.
However, in spite of his lack of recent match practice, Owen, who has scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for the Three Lions, believes he can still perform at international level.
“Not only do some people think I retired from England, some people think I’ve retired from football full stop. No, I’d never retire from international football,” he said at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
“I have to perform well for my club and if I do that there might be an outside chance of getting back. I don’t go to bed thinking of playing for England again. It would be a bonus, but I need to get back on pitch and rediscover my goal scoring touch.
“It’s a very intense feeling playing for your country. I don’t think people express themselves as well as they do at club level. At that level you feel loved, the fans are on side, you’re playing week in week out.
“There’s certainly a bit of fear playing for England. But football still is, and always will be, my number one passion. I’m still as hungry as I was when I was 18.”