The ‘Granny Rule’ has been used to great effect over the years for Ireland and some true Ireland legends like Tony Cascarino and John Aldridge have written their names into Irish football folklore. The rule had always courted some controversy, but the truth is these days every country now fully embraces it and there are numerous examples of players, even at the elite levels of International football from Italy, Spain, Germany and Brazil that regularly use it.
With so many Irish emigrants to England, it’s only natural that hundreds of footballers born in England could have played for Ireland. It can be a lottery of sorts for some of the young players who are faced with a choice of footballing nationality. Maybe their heart says to play for Ireland but if they play for England they will have a better international career. It’s a tough choice to make. Every day, betting platforms like Zimpler casinos offer favorable odds for all Irish football fans and betting enthusiasts.
Here are five English players that could have actually declared for Ireland, some of which might raise an eyebrow.
Harry Maguire – Manchester United
Harry Maguire had a fantastic Euro 2020, helping England to the Final, while only conceding 2 goals throughout the tournament. He is the most expensive defender in England, while he has had decent years with United and also became their captain. Although at this present moment in time he is in a very poor vain of form, and could lose his place in the team.
Michael Keane – Everton
Michael Keane, is one of the better center-backs currently playing for Everton. His physique and determination to win the ball have won him the favor of fans and teammates alike. And while Michael Keane now plays for the English national team, he has previously made several appearances for the Under 17s and 19 Irish national teams, together with his brother Will Keane.
The Everton center-back has 12 caps for England and one goal.
James Maddison – Leicester City
James Maddison is yet another central-midfielder who the Irish lost to England. While there were rumours that the midfielder wanted to move to the Irish national team in 2020 they fizzled out when Maddison made it clear he wanted to play for England. On his day Maddison can be majestic but just lacks that consistency to make him one of the best midfielders in England. Ireland fans would absolutely love to have him play for the Boys in Green
Harry Kane – Tottenham
While the 28-year-old has made a name for himself in the English national team, he could have played for Ireland. Both his father’s parents are from Ireland, from Connemara in Galway, where many of his Irish cousins would be cheering him on for England!! The Tottenham striker always had his eyes set on the English side though.
In Tottenham, Harry Kane replaced beloved Irish Robbie Keane, and many hoped the same would have translated in the national team. But alas it wasn’t to be.
Wayne Rooney – Man United
Rooney, had a super career winning numerous league titles and a Champions League. He had a fantastic England career as well and is the leading English goal-scorer of all time with 53 goals. He also has the most caps with 119 appearances. Harry Kane (41 goals) will have his eye on Rooney’s goal scoring record
The Liverpudlian could have declared for Ireland through Rooney’s grandparents on his father’s side who were both Irish. While Rooney and many other English players with Irish connections could have donned the green, for many of them like Rooney, they didn’t have the connection and felt more English as he stated back in 2015, when he captained England against Ireland in a friendly.
There will be many more examples of excellent English players that have dual nationality in the coming years and who knows some of them might declare for us, especially if Stephen Kenny keeps improving the squad while playing nice football. The green over the white might be a lot more appealing again.