By 90Min
October 08, 2017

England and Bournemouth forward Jermain Defoe has been playing at the highest level for several years. And at 35, he doesn't appear to be slowing down, neither does he look ready to hang up the boots.

Defoe's discipline and attitude has seen him find his way back into the Three Lions' squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup finals, and he is now viewed as a mentor in Gareth Southgate's set-up.

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The striker, who celebrated his birthday on Saturday, spoke to ESPN, revealing the secret behind his longevity.

Of course he looks after his body, but abstinence from alcohol and a tough vegan diet are believed to be the main factors propping up his career. 

"When you're in the England squad in your twenties you're realistic, you don't think that at 35 you'll still be in the squad and hopefully getting into a World Cup," he said.

"It's clean living. I do the ice baths and the cryotherapy. I do pilates, I do massage. I understand my body a lot more than I did years ago.

"I try to be vegan but I love fish, which is a difficult one. Everyone knows I don't drink alcohol. That's probably why I'm still playing to be honest.

"Maybe it was my mum. As a young kid she used to say a lot of things to me. I remember being at my bedroom window... we used to live on an estate and my mates used to be there, smoking, drinking, talking to girls.

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"As a young lad of course you want to be involved, but she always used to say, 'If you want to become a professional footballer, like you've been telling me since you started talking, then you have to do everything right.' It's about sacrifices.

"There are times when I'm tough on myself. I go to a restaurant and think, 'That chocolate brownie looks nice on the menu,' and I'm like, 'No.'

"I know all the sacrifices over the years and you get to this level because of that."

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