Jermain Defoe inspired by Ryan Giggs' longevity

The Tottenham striker is now 30

Jermain Defoe believes Ryan Giggs' longevity has broken all the stereotypes for how long a top-flight career can last.

At 30, Defoe is nine years younger than Giggs, who has just signed a new contract at Manchester United that will take him beyond his 40th birthday.

Although Kevin Phillips will be even older than the Welshman should he remain on Crystal Palace's ride into the Premier League, it is Giggs, with his 13 league titles, who remains the example for others to follow.

Speaking on behalf of England Official Supporter and sponsor William Hill, Defoe said: "It has changed.

"Years ago people used to say 'when you get to 30 you only have a couple more years'. But with all the sports science and the recovery work you can play for a lot longer.

"Look at Ryan Giggs. It is unbelievable how he is still playing well at the top level. If you look after yourself it is not a problem."

Like Giggs, Defoe has taken a personal approach to his fitness.

For the United man, yoga was the key to maintaining the suppleness he needed to be effective.

As a striker, Defoe has different needs.

He has addressed them through regular close-season visits to veteran French fitness expert Tiberius Darau, who pushed the forward to a level he thought was impossible.

"I have never trained so hard in my life," said Defoe.

"After a few days I remember thinking 'I don't know if I can do this'.

"It was really intense. I did a lot of gym work on my legs. A lot of power activity. Everything was related to how I play.

"Every time I questioned it internally, I looked at the bigger picture.

"I knew when I went back to my club I would be sharper than ever. When I came back I felt unbelievable.

"I have always looked after myself. I don't drink. I try to eat the right things. It makes a big difference."

It is probably why Defoe has such a positive mindset.

After all, like most of his England team-mates, he has ploughed his way through an arduous campaign, and after a long season, a trip to Brazil for Sunday's friendly against the World Cup hosts may not hold much appeal.

Defoe cannot understand that argument at all.

"If you can't get up for playing for England you shouldn't be playing football," he said.

"Pulling on the shirt, walking down the tunnel, singing the national anthem. It is the best feeling in the world.

"You want to do well. You want to score. You want to impress people, make them happy and win the game."

By next March, Defoe's international career will stretch back a full decade, during which time he has amassed over half a century of caps.

It is a pretty decent return by any standards.

But Defoe does not regard the job as being done.

"I came into the game quite early, making my debut at West Ham when I was 17," he said.

"Even at that stage people were talking about me, saying I could go on to be special and score goals for club and country.

"You have to live up to that. You have to work hard. You can't take your foot off the gas at any stage."

It is certainly not what Defoe is intending to do on Sunday, when he hopes to face Brazil in the Maracana Stadium for a glamour friendly intended as an important part of Roy Hodgson's World Cup preparation.

"It is an unbelievable fixture," said Defoe.

"Brazil are a great football nation. If you look at their history, the players they have produced and World Cups they have won, it is a team you want to play against.

"I remember playing against Brazil for England Schoolboys at Wembley when I was 15.

"Even then it was such a special day. Now at senior level, it will be fantastic."

PA

News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

News
people
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Swiss guards stand in the Sistine Chapel, which is to be lit, and protected, by 7,000 LEDs
art

The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs

Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?