IS IT A COINCIDENCE ?
Here are some of the players of African origin that were either neglected and/or flopped after turning down call ups from African countries.
▪️KARIM BENZIMA 🇩🇿
In 2006, prior to his senior debut for France, he was approached by representatives from the Algerian football association (FAF) who sought to persuade him to play for their country but he declined the invitation, telling RMC: “Algeria is my parents’ country and it is in my heart, but I will play for the France national team.”
Interestingly, following Benzema’s comments in November 2019, Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi simply replied: “I’m very happy with the players I have.”
However, few years later , Benzima was dumped by France after his alleged sex tape went viral. Since today, the player who is arguably one of the best players in the world has not played international football. He has made several attempts to switch to Algeria but it’s too late due to FIFA eligibility rules.
▪️ADAMA TRAORÉ 🇲🇱
The wolves rapid forward was approached by the Malian FA with an attempt to lure him to play for Mali but he turned down the call up and chose his country of birth Spain.
Months later, Traoré suffered with injuries and has not scored a goal this season in the English premier league and made only one assist.
During the previous international break, Traore was left out in the Spanish national team squad because of his poor form in the Premier league.
Adama’s international career now remains in question marks as the hype has suddenly vanished in thin air and Spain slowly forgetting him.
▪️CHARLY MUSONDA JR🇿🇲
One of the most exciting kids that came on the scene with so much hype in the English premier league and kept the media talking. Charly was born from both Zambian parents in belguim.
The Zambian FA approached him to represent the chipolopolo boys but he openly refused and said “Zambia is my father’s country. I am Belgian”.
However, a few years later Charly was knocked out on the pitch with an injury and it has been injury after another injury , a thing that till today has threatened his career. Some doctors even told him he might never play again though he is now improving.
Charly has not been called up to the belgian national team and as it stands, he might never be called due to the competition in the world’s number one ranked national team, Belgium .
He is recovering and has been dropped to the Chelsea u23 hoping to make a come back to the elite premier league.
▪️MARIO BALOTELI 🇬🇭
An amazing player he is. One of the most fantastic players that might have gone all the way to even win the Ballon d’Or. Baloteli was born from Ghanian parents and was called up to the Ghana national team when he was only 17years old.
Baloteli refused and opted to play for Italy which he represented well.
However, few years later baloteli started complaining of being racially abused by both Italian fans , coaches and fellow players. He was later dumped by Italy and now he plays in the second tier in Italy.
Baloteli has openly regretted not playing for Ghana saying that perhaps they would have appreciated him unlike Italy that has been ungrateful to him.
▪️Gabriel Ogborlorhor 🇳🇬
After a successful season at Aston Villa in the English premier league the Nigerian FA sent representatives to woo him to play for the super eagles but he plainly told them he was not interested and that he preferred England.
His decision to dump Nigeria in preference for England backfired within a shortest period of time.
The English discarded him from their national team after just two appearances and since then he never featured for England again and has nothing to write home about his international football career.