Berti Vogts claims he tried to persuade Wayne Rooney to play for Scotland

Former Scotland manager Berti Vogts has confirmed that he made a bold attempt to persuade Wayne Rooney to play for Scotland

Berti Vogts: Tried to persuade Wayne Rooney to play for Scotland

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Former Scotland manager Berti Vogts has revealed he tried to persuade Wayne Rooney to switch his international allegiance.

Vogts, who was in charge of Scotland from 2002 to 2004, said he was made aware of a potential family link when Rooney was a highly-rated 16-year-old with Everton.

The current Azerbaijan boss travelled to Goodison Park to speak with Rooney and his Everton manager David Moyes, but he was unable to convince the striker to opt for Scotland.

"I spoke to Wayne Rooney - his grandmother, she is Scottish," said Vogts.

"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'. You have to speak to the player but he told me 'I'm so sorry boss, I'm English'."

Berti Vogts on Wayne Rooney

"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'.

"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 due to the emergence of another hot young talent - Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj.

FIFA rule

He is wanted by several teams - including Belgium, Serbia, Albania, Turkey and potentially England.

Januzaj could only represent England on residency grounds rather than the blood link which Vogts hoped to use in the Rooney case.

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.

Vogts is currently preparing for Azerbaijan's World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland on Friday.