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Michael Essien welcomes Inaki Williams decision to play for Ghana

Inaki Williams

Inaki Williams

Former Ghanaian international Michael Essien has weighed in on Inaki Williams’ decision to play for the Black Stars.

On Tuesday, Williams announced that he will defend “Ghana’s T-shirt,” confirming that he has switched international allegiance from Spain.

Essien wrote on Twitter, “Welcome home Inaki Williams.”

“Every step we take forward has its own meaning. An evolution. A glance into the future which leaves a trace itself. A legacy. My parents have raised me with values based on humility, respect and love,” Williams said in an announcement video.

“They have taught me to embrace life. In that constant quest to continue growing and working upon the pursuit of evolving personally and professionally as an individual.”

“That’s why I feel the moment has come for me to find my origins within myself and with Africa and Ghana which means so much to me and my family. I want to return a small part of everything it has given to us because Ghana has played a significant part of becoming who I am as a person, as a son and as a brother.”

“Today a new challenge begins. From now on, I will defend Ghana’s T-shirt with all my will whilst I give my best. I’m one of the Black Stars,” he added.

The 28-year-old has played for the Spain Under-21 side and also made one appearance for the senior team in a friendly against Bosnia in 2016.

FIFA rules stipulate that players can switch countries if they have not played more than three matches for a country before the age of 21 and have not featured in a World Cup or continental tournament.

Williams holds the LaLiga record for consecutive appearances — 233 games — after bettering the previous mark of 202 in October.

The switch comes as a boost for Ghana ahead of this year’s World Cup in Qatar, where they have been grouped alongside Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea. The tournament kicks off on 21 Nov.

 

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