Arteta admits England consideration
Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta has admitted he was seriously thinking about playing for England before learning it was outlawed by FIFA rules.
Such a call-up under dual nationality guidelines - which Arteta meets after his time in England with Everton - would have caused huge controversy, but FIFA has a rule which has blocked the possibility in any case.
The Goodison Park favourite would have had to be eligible for dual nationality when he made his appearances for the Spain Under-21 side, which means the chances of Arteta pulling on the white shirt of England are now gone.
But the talented midfielder has now revealed that his affinity with his adopted nation meant that he did not dismiss the possibility out of hand.
Arteta told The Independent: "If it had been any other country I would have said no, but I've been over here for most of my career, so it's my second home.
"My family are here, my kid's at nursery, I have everything. So I was really thinking seriously about it."
He added: "It was an issue and now it's not any more, but at least it saves me from having to make a decision.
"Rules are rules. We knew it wasn't going to be easy so that's it now."