Football

FA Cup victory would ‘tick last box’, admits Leicester’s Vardy ahead of final clash with Chelsea

As Brendan Rodgers’ side look to lift football’s oldest honour for the first time in their history, the 34-year-old is showing no sign of slowing down

Jamie Vardy admits that victory for Leicester City in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea would mean that “the last box [is] fully ticked” in his career, but adds that he has no plans to hang up his boots any time soon.

The 34-year-old will walk out at Wembley this weekend as part of Brendan Rodgers’ side, as they look to win their first piece of silverware since their legendary Premier League shock triumph in 2016 under Claudio Ranieri.

Former England man Vardy, who won the Premier League Golden Boot last season for his performances, has shown no sign of slowing down this term, and believes that victory in London would prove something of a capstone to his remarkable career.

What has been said?

“The last box [is] fully ticked [if we win],” the striker told The Telegraph ahead of his side’s showdown with Thomas Tuchel’s Champions League finalists and fellow top four rivals.

“To have gone all the way from the bottom and played in every round just makes it even more interesting and me even more determined to try and get the win on Saturday.”

“It just shows you that having the chance and working hard for it can really achieve things. I couldn’t see any of this, not at all, when I first signed. But it’s where the club wanted to go and what they wanted to achieve.”

From non-league starter to top-flight titan

Vardy’s rise through the ranks of English football, from lowly Stocksbridge Park Steels in his hometown of Sheffield, to a World Cup fourth-place finalist with England over the course of a decade, remains one of the game’s most intriguing stories.

It means that he will become the first man to play in every round of the FA Cup when he features in the final this week, as the Foxes look to triumph in the competition for the first time in their history.

Yet he has no intention of hanging up his boots even if he is able to help steer Leicester to another major honour, adding: “I’m not one of them who looks too far into the future.

“I’ve woken up this morning, I’ll give my all in training, I’ll go home and spend some time with my family, go to sleep tonight and tomorrow we go again.

“I just live for the now. Anything else that happens in the future, like retirement, it’ll be my legs that tell me. It won’t be me, it will be my legs that say no more and that’s it.

“If you look at the nine years since I’ve been here that’s all it’s ever done, it’s carried on progressing.

“I think winning the league probably set us back a bit because it wasn’t supposed to happen so we weren’t ready for it, on and off the field. That steady progress now is exactly what we’re seeing.”

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