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Holtby open to England call-up

September 29, 2010
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Germany Under-21 captain Lewis Holtby has refused to rule out the possibility of switching allegiance to England.

Lewis Holtby
GettyImagesLewis Holtby is highly rated in Germany

Holtby, a 20-year-old winger, is currently on loan with Bundesliga leaders Mainz from Schalke and has been tipped for a senior call up with the German national side.

However, his father is English and, as he remains eligible for both countries, he has refused to rule out the possibility that he could play for England.

Asked if he would be happy to speak to Fabio Capello, he told talkSPORT: "I would definitely listen. There is always a chance to talk and to listen about things.

"England and Germany own 50% of my heart and I really love both countries and I pay respect to all of them and especially to a great guy like Capello – he's a legend in the sport of football.

"There are some really good players coming up and English football has a bright future. As I haven't played for the A team for Germany, it's all open, but I'd like to play for Germany. I would be delighted if the coach would nominate me for the next games or the future, but you never know - in football anything is possible.

"It's not like moving from one club to another - it's playing for a country and you can't really play for two countries. You've got to be proud of yourself and you have to thank the country you started with, and that's the main thing in my head.

"I've never really been asked about it before. I've grown up in Germany but I've always supported England because of my dad.

"It's the decision of the high [up] guys of the English Football Association. There's a lot of British talent and really good footballers in England, so it would be difficult for me to settle in because I'm half-and-half and especially the rivalry between England and Germany is very high so it would be a bit strange."