by Nia Griffiths
While he’s been away on international duty, Danny Welbeck explained why he chose to play for England, rather than his parents’ home country Ghana.
Somewhat controversially in a strange twist of fate for the 24-year-old, his first game for England was in fact against Ghana.
Speaking to the Sport, the forward said, “It was a bittersweet moment. I was making my debut, but I was playing against Ghana – and that’s the country of my parents. I could have even played for Ghana, but I’d played for England since I was 14. It just felt natural to me to progress to the senior team, and obviously playing for your country is a massive honour.”
Although England only managed to draw 1-1 against their rivals that day and Welbeck only got nine minutes under his belt. It was a huge achievement for the then 20-year-old to get his debut for his national team.
When asked about how his parents, who are both Ghanaian, felt on which team he’d chosen to represent he said, “I had some cousins in the stands, and obviously my family were all there as well. They all respected my decision and everyone was behind me…” Adding light-heartedly, “they were probably booing me, but they were so happy for me as well!”
Welbeck, who has now gone on to make 33 appearances for England, also spoke about his first England memory in general.
“The ones that stick out in my head are watching Michael Owen score that goal against Argentina when I was about seven or eight, and then the David Beckham moment.”
The forward has had a mixed season. He moved from Manchester United to Arsenal in the summer in order to potentially get more playing time but his short time with the Gunners so far has been peppered with injuries. If fit for England duty, hopefully afterwards he can go on to get a good rest before hitting the ground running in pre-season.