Wayne Rooney Was Asked to Play for Scotland by Ex-Manager Berti Vogts, Said No
Wayne Rooney has already amassed 84 caps and 36 goals for England, but the Manchester United man's career could have been very different had he accepted an offer to play for Scotland when he was still a teenager.
Speaking this week, former Scotland boss Berti Vogts—now coaching Azerbaijan—said he had looked into picking Rooney, who qualified to represent the nation through his grandmother.
In quotes reported by the Independent, Vogts said:
I spoke to Wayne Rooney—his grandmother, she is Scottish.
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'."
[Rooney told me] 'I am English, I am English!.'
You have to speak to the player but he told me 'I'm so sorry boss, I'm English.'
The same report added that there has been no word from the Scottish Football Association over Vogts' claims.
Rooney went on to make his England debut against Australia in 2003 and was at the time the youngest player ever to win his first cap, aged just 17 and 111 days, as per England Football Online.
He impressed at Euro 2004 under Sven-Goran Eriksson, but he suffered an injury which ruled him out of the tournament in the knockout stages and has rarely hit the same heights since in an England shirt.
In 2010 he landed in trouble for hitting out at England supporters during the 2010 World Cup in a rant picked up by TV cameras.
The revelation comes in the context of a debate over who is eligible to play for England.
Jack Wilshere and South African-born England batsman Kevin Pietersen have been engaging in a Twitter debate on the subject, which affects plenty of feted English and British winners like Olympian Mo Farah and Tour de France winner Chris Froome.
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