Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta's hopes of an international future with England have been dashed by FIFA confirming that he is ineligible to join up with Fabio Capello's men.
The 28-year-old had been linked with a future call-up for the Three Lions, but world football's governing body have now confirmed that Arteta cannot feature for England due to appearances for Spain's youth sides.
The Toffees playmaker played for Spain in the European U16 Championships and then the FIFA World U17 Championships, long before he would have been able to gain UK citizenship.
FIFA article 18.1 (a) states that "at the time of (a player's) first full or partial appearance in an international match in an official competition for his current association, he must already have the nationality of the representative team for which he wishes to play."
Later an FA spokesman added: "Under our understanding of FIFA rules the player is ineligible to play for England."