Ryan Giggs famously captained England schoolboys, before going on to represent his native Wales, but the list of players who could have sported the three lions is longer and more star-studded than you may think. 

The mix of heritages and cultures that makes up Britain today is vibrant and exciting, but a bit of a headache for those responsible for selecting the England squad. 

Back in 2010, some newspapers reported that Mikel Arteta was on the verge of an England call-up after five years of residency in the UK, but failed to recognise the numerous other clauses that prevented the Spaniard from pulling on the national jersey.

Raheem Sterling and Wilfred Zaha both saw national debuts in November 2012 against Sweden and there was some suspicion that it was Roy Hodgson's method of locking them into a future with England rather than them representing Jamaica or Côte d'Ivoire respectively. 

For years, dual-nationality has been as much a curse as it is a gift to footballers: just imagine if Zinedine Zidane had suffered an early lack of self-confidence and tied his future to Algeria, or if Zlatan Ibrahimovic forsook Sweden and instead pulled on the white jersey of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team.

This list addresses the top five England players that got away. In some cases, the players had more International joy than they would have dreamt of with England. 


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