By Seyifunmi Awobiyi
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar established itself as one of the most memorable Mundials ever. Records were broken, history was made, tears poured, joy hit high heavens; it had everything a tournament should have, and a tad more.
One of the ‘more’, however, that came with this year’s tournament is that of some players representing adopted countries, with some of them even scoring against these countries in what was a mixed-feeling moment for them.
Here is a compilation of 20 players who represented their adopted countries at the World Cup:
Kylian Mbappe – Cameroonian
Kylian Mbappe represented the French national team whereas his father. Wilfred who doubles as his agent is a Cameroonian. His mum, Fayza Lamari, also has African roots as she is from Algeria.
Alphonso Davies – Liberian
He was born in Ghana after his parents moved away from Liberia during the second civil war before moving to Canada. Both Parents are Liberian.
Leroy Sane – Senegalesse
Born and raised in Germany, his father was a former Senegalese football international Souleymane Sané: a bronze medalist in the Olympics in 1984.
Christian Pulisic – Croatian
USMNT captain Pulisic is a native of Croatia but born and raised in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA.
Romelu Lukaku – Congolesse
Another star in this bracket of players is the Belgian star man, Romelu Lukaku. His father was a Congolese forward.
Bukayo Saka – Nigerian
A Yoruba boy, born in Ealing, west London in England. Adenike and Yomi Saka are his parents, they emigrated from Nigeria as economic migrants.
Timothy Weah – Liberian
Timothy Weah is the son of George Weah, the only African to win the Ballon d’Or. He was born and raised in America. He has multiple nationalities including Jamaica, France, America, and Liberian.
Nico Williams – Ghanaian
Born in Spain to Ghanaian parents, his brother, Inaki Williams plays for Ghana, but he chose to represent Spain. Both of them are players at La Liga side, Athletic Bilbao.
Jack Grealish – Irish
The Manchester City midfielder has Irish ancestors but was born and raised in England.
Manuel Akanji – Nigerian
Born by a Nigerian father and a Swiss mother in Wiesendangen, Switzerland. The center-back joined Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund in the last transfer window.
Jude Bellingham – Irish
The man making waves in Germany right now for Borussia Dortmund also has Irish Grandparents but chose to play for England and has made a solid name for himself.
Declan Rice – Irish
The 23-year-old English midfielder has Irish parents and was born in Kingston upon Thames, southwest London. He swapped his allegiance from Ireland to England which left his father disappointed.
Ansu Fati – Guinea Bissau
The Spanish forward was born in Guinea Bissau but chose to represent the Spanish team after he gained citizenship.
Cody Gakpo -Togolesse
The winger was born in Eindhoven, Netherlands but had Togolese and Ghanaian blood through his father but his mum is very much Dutch.
Jules Kounde- Beninois
He was born in the capital of France, Paris to a French mother and a Beninese father. The defender joined Barcelona this season from Sevilla.
Breel Embolo – Cameroonian
The Swiss Center forward is Cameroonian by blood but is also partly French and plays for Switzerland. The forward scored a goal against Cameroon in the 2022 FIFA World Cup but didn’t celebrate it.
Alejandro Balde – Guinea Bissau
Although he is a Citizen of pain through birth, Balde’s father is fully from Guinea Bissau and his mother is Dominican.
Raheem Sterling – Jamaican
Born in Jamaica to Jamaican parents. He moved to London at the age of five and managed to gain citizenship. He started his professional football at Queens Park Rangers where he spent seven years at the youth academy.
Jamal Musiala – Nigerian
Another player that snubbed a call-up from Nigeria is Jamal Musiala. Musiala was born by a Nigerian father and a German mother in Stuttgart, Germany in 2003. He moved to England in 2011 where he attended Chelsea’s youth academy before going back to Germany.
Aurelien Tchouameni – Cameroon
The player is known for his aggressive ball-winning in the midfield and represented France at this year’s FIFA 2022 World Cup despite being of Cameroonian descent.
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