The full-back's last cap came three years ago when he was still in his teens.
Now Richards wants to make it seventh heaven for City with six of his team-mates helping defeat Switzerland in a Euro 2012 qualifier in midweek.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott, Gareth Barry, James Milner, Adam Johnson and Shaun Wright-Phillips all finished the match in Basle which ended in a 3-1 victory for England.
Richards, due to skipper the Under-21s but then ruled out because of a chest infection, said: "I want to push on and get in the seniors.
"There is no reason why I can't if I'm starting in Manchester City's team. When the boss (Roberto Mancini) has confidence in you that definitely helps your game.
"For him to say that if I concentrate I can become one of the best defenders in England is quite a compliment to get from your manager.
"I wouldn't say I've got the hunger back because I never lost it.
"But I think the increased competition in our squad has made me play a little bit better. I want that to continue for the rest of the season.
"If we can win something for the fans and I'm playing well, then there's no reason why I can't get back in the England squad."
Richards won the last of his 12 caps in 2007 and has yet to convince England manager Capello of his capabilities.
But he added on City's website: "I think James Milner holds the record for Under-21 caps and Gareth Barry played a lot of games as well. That shows you can use it as a stepping stone to the senior side."