Wayne Rooney was approached to play for Scotland when he was 16-years-old, according to Berti Vogts.
The former Scotland manager says he was made aware that Rooney was eligible through his Grandmother, and made an approach while he was still with Everton.
"I spoke to Wayne Rooney - his grandmother, she is Scottish," said Vogts, who took charge of Scotland between 2002 and 2004.
"You have to speak to the player but he told me 'I'm so sorry boss, I'm English'."
The Manchester United striker has gone on to score 36 goals for England in 84 appearances since he made his debut in 2003.
Vogts approached Rooney while he was playing under now Manchester United boss David Moyes at Goodison Park.
"The Scottish Football Association found the grandmother and I made the call," recalled Vogts.
"I flew from Glasgow to Everton. He was playing under David Moyes at Everton and I spoke to him."
Rooney will lead the line for the Three Lions as they go up against Montenegro on Friday and Ukraine in their crucial World Cup qualifiers.
The news comes days after England coach Roy Hodgson confirmed the FA have opened talks about naturalising Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj in order to allow him to represent the Three Lions.