Leicester City winger Marc Albrighton has openly conceded defeat in his dream to play for his country, despite admitting that England boss Gareth Southgate has previously expressed admiration for him as a player.
According to a report in the Leicester Mercury, Albrighton received a letter from Southgate following a attention-grabbing plea from a young girl requesting the 28-year-old's inclusion in the England squad.
Albrighton has been one of Leicester's most consistent performers since his move from Aston Villa in 2014, with the Englishman playing a key role in the Foxes' historic Premier League winning campaign and subsequent march to the Champions League quarter-finals.
Despite such impressive form, however, the former England U21 international has been unable to break into the Three Lions' senior setup - and he is beginning to relinquish hope of ever doing so.
When questioned on his future chances of playing for England, Albrighton said: "No, I don't think about it now.
"There was a time when I did look at it and think maybe I could work towards getting a call-up, but now with the World Cup coming up it is a bit too late.
"I think once the World Cup is out of the way they are preparing for two years' time and obviously they will be picking a lot younger players.
"It is something that is past now and it allows me to focus on my club football. I have never really had any inkling I was being considered. I am not sure why."
In reference to the letter Albrighton received from England boss Southgate, the Leicester man said: "I received a letter a few months ago from a young girl who had written to Gareth Southgate asking him to pick me.
"To be fair to Gareth, he did write back and I received both of those letters through the post. The letter said what a fantastic player I was and he wished me well for the future, but he didn't disclose too much."
Without Albrighton, Southgate's England began their preparations for this summer's World Cup in Russia with a 1-0 win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday night.