The new wunderkind of the German Bundesliga, 20-year-old Mainz midfielder Lewis Holtby, has committed himself to the German national team even though his father, Chris, is an English serviceman who has spent most of his career in the British military based in Germany.
Holtby says his captaincy of Germany under-21 national team weighed heavily in his decision. "Germany have given me the honor of the captaincy at under-21 level and I have to give them back that respect," he said, adding that his father, an Everton fan, respected his decision.
As Sam Wallace of Independent writes, Holtby's decision is another setback for England. "The England team must not seem like the most enticing prospect to someone steeped in the culture of the German team's relentless success. The evidence of history says that, as an England international, you would have been doomed to repeat the cycle of failure."