Bent was informed by Fabio Capello this lunchtime that his services would not be required in South Africa. Despite ending the season with 25 goals for Sunderland, Bent was unable to find the target on his two England starts, against Brazil in November and Japan last Sunday, leaving Capello to head into the biggest tournament of all with just four recognised strikers.
"I feel really disappointed," Bent told Sunderland's official website. "I have always said to myself - if you play well and do your best for Sunderland then there is a chance you can go to the biggest tournament in the world. But obviously on this occasion it has not worked out."
Bent now intends to take a break before refocusing on club matters ahead of next season. But he will still be following England's fortunes and hopes the Three Lions can emerge victorious next month.
"Straight away from when Mr Capello spoke to me and told me I wouldn't be involved in the 23-man squad my thoughts turned to next season and how I can improve on what I have done for Sunderland this year," he said. "I am going to take some time off now and rest my bones after what has been a great season for me and get ready for next year.
"It's a case of fully concentrating on my football for Sunderland and doing my best for them," he went on. "Of course, I still want the boys to do well. I have got a lot of friends in the England set-up. They are a great bunch of lads and even though I won't be there, I will be supporting them."