Defoe reveals the truth about his axe from UEL

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GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 25: Jermain Defoe of Rangers celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Livingston at Ibrox Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Jermain Defoe has tonight confirmed the decision to wind down his Rangers career and prominence in the team was his and his alone, following a fine first season at Ibrox.

The now 38 year old isn’t strictly planning to retire soon, but has admitted he simply doesn’t have two matches a week in him, not even close, and the only way to play at his best at the weekend is to have the midweek matches off to recover his body.

When Defoe was originally announced as excluded from the EL squad, there was a small reaction of shock, especially given the striking options Rangers had weren’t exactly proven or deep.

But the reality is Defoe wants to be as fit as possible for domestic football and probably isn’t keen on the constant flying to Europe either, so he spoke to the manager and they agreed to wind down his use and keep him exclusively for the league and cup.

It’s a smart, mature and classy decision from the former England man.

Obviously he’s no kid any more, but few have been model pros in the game the way Defoe has, and he’s handled himself constantly with dignity and assurance, and this decision not only gives Rangers potentially less injury headaches, but it leaves us with a striker who will always be fresh for the weekend.

Good call.