YUNUS MUSAH had a choice to play for four different nations – and he chose USA.
Born in New York to Ghanaian parents, Musah moved to Italy and then on to England before the age of ten.
Despite 32 stints with the Three Lions youth teams, he returned to where it all began and made his US senior debut in 2020.
Two years after that decision, the 19-year-old midfielder will carry the Stars and Stripes in tomorrow’s World Cup group stage game against the very nation he snubbed.
Musah said: “I’ve never spoken to Gareth Southgate personally, but he gave us a lecture one day as a team. It was great that the England manager spoke to you.
“I was hoping to be picked by him one day. I had a great time with England, nothing to complain about. Great trainers, great experience.
“I don’t like to identify as part of a country because every country I’ve been to I’ve been there for a while.
“It came at the point where I had to make a decision about my career.
“I was young and had the opportunity to play with a great team in the United States. My first camp two years ago showed me that I wanted to play for these guys, this coach and this nation.”
Musah has certainly played his part in helping the Yanks avenge their failure to qualify for Russia 2018 by securing a place in Qatar.
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The opening 1-1 draw with Wales ended a 3,065-day streak since their last World Cup game.
Musah excelled in midfield and is likely to feature against England.
When asked if he’d thought about how it would feel to hear both the American and English national anthems, he smiled, “Yes, I have.”
Musah turns 20 on Tuesday as the USA take on Iran in a potential knockout decider and has come a long way since his Arsenal academy breakthrough.
He added: “How it all came together was a bit crazy, but now I’m here recording it all.
“I used to play for England with Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham, then I switched so I’m here now. Sharing a field with them will be very special.”
Another US star with close ties to England is Gio Reyna.
Bellingham’s club-mate said: “He’s definitely my best friend at Dortmund.
“We chatted a bit, but I love him. We will both be ready to fight.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6755474/england-usa-musah-saka-bellingham/ “I used to play for England with Bellingham and Saka, now I can destroy their World Cup dreams,” says US star Yunus Musah