“Thank God I didn’t.”
Jamie Vardy has opened up on his previous desire to quit football and move to Ibiza.
Long before Vardy was winning the Premier League Golden Boot, he was struggling to find the net in the Championship.
Having signed for Leicester from Fleetwood Town in 2012 for a fee of £1 million, Vardy scored just five goals in his debut season with the Foxes, which is when he seriously considered leaving football.
Vardy entertained the idea of hanging up his boots at the age of 25 and moving to Ibiza, where he planned to become a club rep, before then-manager Nigel Pearson talked him out of it.
“Moving to Ibiza felt a good idea at the time,” Vardy told The Daily Mail. “It felt a really good idea. Thank God I didn’t.
“It was one of those things. I’d never been in that environment — playing in the Championship, struggling, the performances and the goals not coming and it does make you think.
“I had a chat with Nigel Pearson at one point and I was trying to get him to loan me back to Fleetwood, just because I’d had success there. He said, ‘Listen, you’re good enough, just knuckle down, you can play a lot higher.’
Jamie Vardy Ibiza
“At that stage I knew he believed in me and after that it all clicked together. It was a learning curve. The big jump in standard took a bit of time getting used to and then the season after we got promoted.”
The dark days of 2012 must have seemed like a distant memory in 2016, when Leicester shocked the world by winning the Premier League thanks in no small part to Vardy’s 24 goals that term.
The Foxes were 5,000-1 to win the league at the beginning of the 2015/16 campaign and Vardy admitted that he never expected to be a Premier League winner when he initially made the move to the King Power Stadium.
“Winning the league probably set us back a bit because it wasn’t supposed to happen so we probably weren’t ready for it, on and off the field,” Vardy continued.
“I couldn’t see any of this happening when I signed but it’s where the club wanted to go and what they wanted to achieve.
“The owners were brilliant and always wanted to go up and up, and keep progressing. If you look at the nine years since I’ve been here that’s all it’s ever done. It’s carried on progressing.”