England coach Roy Hodgson has revealed he could have taken charge of the German national team back in the late 1990s.
But the 66-year-old said his chances of leading the country were ruined by legendary German player and manager, Franz Beckenbauer.
Hodgson, then manager at Blackburn, was contacted by German FA president Egidius Braun in 1998 about replacing the recently departed Berti Vogts.
However, a foreign manager was not the most popular candidate to lead Germany.
“Braun had difficulties with signing a foreign coach [for the Germany team],” Hodgson told the Mirror.
“My friend Franz Beckenbauer made it clear that a foreign national coach would help neither the German coaching programme nor the young and talented German coaches.
“It was an honour when Braun called, but I had a contract with Blackburn. So I just remained a name on the president’s wish list. That in itself was a great honour.”
And Hodgson believes the plan to retain a local coach has worked wonders for German football, predicting they, Spain and Brazil will contest for the highest honours at next year’s World Cup.
However, Hodgson has not cancelled out the idea his team could shock one of its more heavily fancied opponents.
“We’re in a time of transition,” said Hodgson.
“We have a big group of young players, up and coming, but also some players who play some tournaments.
“I’m convinced we will present ourselves in a good way in Brazil.
“Those three teams are at the top and I would include Argentina because South American teams have an advantage because of the climate. Germany has reinvented itself in a new way in 2006.
“I have massive respect for Jurgen Klinsmann and Joachim Low and what they started. Many teams in a similar situation like Germany take the German federation as a role model.
“The decision to focus on young players and an aggressive way of playing was totally correct.
“I watch German football in the Champions League. Dortmund, Bayern, Schalke and Leverkusen are impressive.
“Not just the quality of the players but the passion and focus on tactics. The Bundesliga has developed itself in a good way.”