Former England striker Chris Sutton has branded Jamie Vardy’s admission that he drank port on the night before every match last season as “irresponsible” and “unprofessional”.
Leicester's star player made the recent revelation in his new autobiography, Jamie Vardy: From Nowhere, My Story, which is being serialised by The Sun.
Vardy, who finished runner-up to Harry Kane in the Premier League goal-scoring chart last season, explained: “I can't say why it started, because I genuinely don't know, but I decided to drink a glass of port on the eve of every game in the 2015–16 season.
“I'm not normally superstitious but from the moment I scored against Sunderland on the opening day, I didn't want to change anything.
“I fill a small plastic water or Lucozade bottle to halfway and just sip the port while watching television.
But Sutton has criticised Vardy for his pre-match ritual, labelling it “unprofessional”.
Writing in the Daily Mail, he said: “It is almost unbelievable for a leading professional footballer to drink half a Lucozade bottle filled with port before every game . . . and for that player to be Footballer of the Year! My first question is: can what he is saying really be true?
“Jamie Vardy is a remarkable story, a player who has achieved brilliant success with raw talent that has driven him from the non-League scene to the England squad. His goals won the title for Leicester, so he may be entitled to ask: ‘What’s wrong with what I do?’
“But his admission that he drinks port every night before a match (he didn’t say if that includes England games) is irresponsible and unprofessional.”
Vardy has already established a reputation for his irregular dietary habits. The Leicester forward admitted earlier in the year that he drinks three cans of Red Bull prior to matches.
As revealed by the player himself, Vardy will drink his first can as soon as he wakes up, before having his second at 11.30am shortly after he has eaten a cheese and ham omelette with baked beans. The last can is consumed during the pre-match preparations, with the forward drinking most of it ahead of the warm-up and the remainder of the can when he returns to the dressing room.
“With this one I sip it all the way until we go out for the warm-up, leaving a bit to finish off when I come back in,” he said.
“So three Red Bulls, a double espresso and a cheese-and-ham omelette is what makes me run around like a nutjob on a match day.”