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10 Ghanaian Footballers Who Chose To Play For Other Countries

Nigel Quashie (Ghana – England – Scotland)

Niguel Quashie was born in the London Borough of Southwark to a Ghanaian father and an English mother. He was married for ten years to Joanna, with whom he had a daughter and a son, who died shortly after birth in 1999.

After a divorce and his move to West Bromwich Albion, he started a relationship with Kerry Clarke, who in September 2005 gave birth to his son.

After several impressive performances for QPR, Quashie was awarded four England Under-21 and an England ‘B’ caps. ”

Quashie switched his allegiance to Scotland and made his international debut against Estonia in May 2004, becoming only the second black player to represent Scotland, and the first since Andrew Watson in 1881.

Marcel Desailly (Ghana – France)

Marcel Desailly made the controversial decision to play for France, instead of his parents home country of Ghana. He has often said that he feels totally French and while having ties with his native country, never even considered playing for another country than France.

This stance was restated in his autobiography, published in 2002. He made his international debut in 1993, but was not established as a first choice defender until 1996. He was an important part of the French team which won the 1998 World Cup, albeit being sent off in the final. Like other team members, he was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d’honneur in 1998.

Two years later success continued, as France won Euro 2000. After the tournament, Desailly was made the captain of the national team, following the retirement of Didier Deschamps. In 2001, he led France to victory in the Confederations Cup.

Gerald Asamoah (Ghana – Germany)

Born in Ghana, Asamoah and his family emigrated to Germany in 1990.

He made his debut for Germany in 2001 against Slovakia, making him the first African-born black player to ever play for the side, as Erwin Kostedde and Jimmy Hartwig, two previous internationals with black ancestry, were both born in Germany to African-American fathers.

He scored on his debut and went on to play in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

Mario Baloteli (Ghana – Italy)

Almost eight years ago Balotelli was called up to represent Ghana, as his parents are both Ghanaian-born, but he refused as he was waiting for Italy to give him the nod.

Arguably one of the most controversial characters in world football, the Liverpool forward has scored 13 times for Italy in 33 appearances.

In 2007 Balotelli was called up for Ghana by then coach Claude Le Roy, but he refused, insisting that he was holding out for the invitation from Italy.

Danny Welbeck (Ghana – England)

Funnily enough, the ex-Manchester United player made his debut for England against Ghana in 2011 – the nation who he could’ve chosen to play for.

The former Manchester United striker was booed by the away fans as he made his entrance on 81 minutes. Although he was born and raised in England, Welbeck’s parents are both Ghanaian.

The Arsenal forward’s full name is Daniel Nii Tackie Mensah Welbeck and he has played 31 games for England, scoring 12 goals.

Jerome Boateng (Ghana – Germany)

Although Bayern Munich’s towering central-defender was born and raised in Germany’s capital, Boateng comes from a home of a Ghanaian father. Boateng excelled at youth level for Germany, as did his brother, Kevin-Prince – who opted to rather represent Ghana – the country for whom his uncle Robert had also played, with Jerome opting for Germany – for whom the two had excelled at youth level.


Alexander Tettey (Ghana – Norway)

Tettey was born in Accra, Ghana, but moved to Bodø in Norway in 1999. He later moved to Trondheim and started to play football for Kolstad.

After joining Rosenborg’s youth department, Tettey made his debut for the first team in a friendly match against GIF Sundsvall in January 2003, and in September 2003 he joined the first team squad and became the youngest player in Rosenborg’s first team squad since Ola By Rise, Knut Torbjørn Eggen and Øivind Husby in 1977.

Tettey is now a naturalized Norwegian and has been capped for the Norwegian under-18, 19 and 21 national teams, and he made his first appearance on the Norwegian national team in their 2–1 win against Argentina on 22 August 2007.

George Boateng (Ghana – Netherlands)

Boateng is a former Dutch footballer who is of Ghanaian descent. He is currently the technical director of Kelantan FA playing in Malaysia Super League.

Although born in Ghana, Boateng chose to represent Netherlands at international level, earning four caps in total for Oranje. Boateng made his international début for the Netherlands in a 1–1 draw with Denmark in November 2001.

Notable English clubs he played for are Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Hull City.

David Odonkor (Ghana – Germany)

 Odonkor was once courted by the Ghana Football Association for a nationality switch to enable him feature for Ghana at 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Born in Bünde to a German mother and a Ghanaian father, Odonkor made his full debut on 30 May 2006 in a friendly match against Japan, going on to appear as a substitute in four World Cup games, most notably against Poland in the group stage, where he displayed an excellent performance and assisted Oliver Neuville’s winning goal in stoppage time.

Odonkor was called up to UEFA Euro 2008 by Joachim Löw, where he was used as a second-half substitute in a 1–2 loss against Croatia.

Karim Bellarabi (Ghana/Morocco – Germany)

Bellarabi is the son of a German mother and a Moroccan father but also has a Ghanaian step-father, making him eligible to play for the Black Stars as well.

“It’s true, Karim is on our list, and we would love to have him in the national team — if possible, for the African Nations Cup in January 2015,” Ghana Football Association spokesman Ibrahim Sanne is quoted as saying by Bild.

However, Bellarabi opted to play for Germany, making his senior international debut for Germany on 11 October 2014 in a 2–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying defeat away to Poland, playing the full 90 minutes.

The Leverkusen striker scored his first international goal for Joachim Low’s side in a 7–0 win against Gibraltar in June 2015.

Memphis Depay (Ghana – Netherlands)

Depay is the son of a Ghanaian father and a Dutch mother. His parents split up when he was aged four, and plays only under his given name to spite his absent father.

His father, Dennis Depay, told British newspaper The Sun that he wishes to reconcile with Memphis. He contests his son’s claim that he ever abandoned him.

Depay made his international debut for the Dutch national team on 15 October 2013, coming on for Jeremain Lens in the last minute of a 2–0 away win against Turkey at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in World Cup qualification.

Source: Pulse Ghana

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