Micah Richards insists he has no regrets about rejecting an England call-up ahead of Euro 2012 but admitted it will be hard for him to get back into the international team now.
The Manchester City right-back was asked to go on the standby list for Euro 2012 but turned it down and prioritised a place in Great Britain’s Olympic squad.
As Kyle Walker, who was originally named in Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad, pulled out because of an injury, Richards could have ended up going to Poland and Ukraine. Instead, Liverpool’s Martin Kelly came in to provide cover for first-choice right-back Glen Johnson.
Richards told The Sun: "It was one of those. Do I go on standby or play in the Olympics? I wanted to go and play under [Stuart] Pearce as I knew him from City.
"It was a decision I made, people will always think negatively about it. But, from my point of view, we'd won the league that year and the FA Cup the season before. Kyle Walker got injured and I was still being asked to go only on standby.
"Was I wrong for making the decision? Maybe. But I wanted to play in the Olympics. It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I enjoyed it. It was one of the best times of my life."
Richards, 25, won the first of his five England caps at the age of 18 but has never been selected by Hodgson.
And while he feels he has the talent to be in the squad, he feels the rise of younger right-backs and his struggle to displace Pablo Zabaleta from the City side makes it unlikely he will be picked now.
He added: "I still want to play for my country, everyone does. But what can I do now?
"Of course, there's still a lot of time. But time waits for no one. We've got young players coming through now like Kyle and Nathaniel Clyne.
"So, yeah, time is still on my side. But sometimes with England, if you don't get in when you're young and stay in, they look to go younger. All I can do is play well.
"People ask me the question about getting back in the England squad and I think, 'I won the FA Cup and then the Premier League in 12 months and I still didn't get in'. So what can I do? I couldn't do any more than that."
Richards has only made one Premier League appearance this season and added: "I'm coming back from injury and I've only played a few games. So do I expect to be in the England squad right now? No.
"On ability maybe I should be. But if you go on form and if people are playing every week, probably not.