• England

I tried to snatch Rooney for Scotland - Vogts

ESPN staff
October 10, 2013
ESPN FC Extra: Rooney speaks out

Berti Vogts has revealed he once approached England striker Wayne Rooney about playing for Scotland.

Vogts, currently manager of Azerbaijan, was made aware that Rooney's grandmother was Scottish while he was in charge of Scotland from 2002 to 2004.

But the striker, 16 years old and playing for Everton at the time, turned down the offer and ultimately went on to make his England debut in February 2003 aged just 17

"I spoke to Wayne Rooney - his grandmother, she is Scottish," said Vogts, speaking in Baku ahead of his Azerbaijan side's World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland.

"The Scottish Football Association found the grandmother and I made the call. I flew from Glasgow to Everton. He was playing under David Moyes at Everton and I spoke to him - a young lad of 16 years of age. I said to him 'you can play for Scotland'."

Explaining Rooney's reaction, the German coach said: "[Rooney told me] 'I am English, I am English!' OK, sorry. You have to speak to the player but he told me 'I'm so sorry boss, I'm English'."

Vogts made the revelation when asked about the issue of national eligibility, which has made headlines recently following the emergence of Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj.

The midfielder is wanted by several nations, including Belgium, Serbia, Albania, Turkey and potentially England, the latter of which he could only represent on residency grounds.

There is already debate brewing as to the rights or wrongs of that, but Vogts sees no problem. "It's a FIFA rule. We have to accept it. It is not only in Great Britain but also here in Azerbaijan," he said.

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