Sports News of Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Germany youngster Benjamin Henrichs has lifted the lid on his decision to commit his international future to the 2014 world champions ahead of Ghana.
Born to a German father and a Ghanaian mother in Bocholt, the Bayer Leverkusen right-back made two appearances as Joachim Low’s outfit beat Chile to win the 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup in Russia.
He made his debut for Die Mannschaft in an 8-0 triumph over San Marino in November last year.
“Germany asked me at the age of 14 to play for their under-15 national team and I didn’t hear anything from Ghana until now,” Henrichs, who is currently on holiday in Ghana, told Atinka TV.
“Actually, I thought about it [playing for Ghana], maybe at the beginning, because I saw players like [Michael] Essien playing for Ghana [and] because they were like idols for me.
“But they [Ghana] never asked and I didn’t think about it anymore. So, when Germany asked, it was clear that I would play for Germany.”
Henrichs’ Germany involvement was down to an outstanding show in Bundesliga last season.
In only his second campaign of professional football, the 20-year-old made 29 league appearances, involving 27 starts, as Leverkusen finished 12.
He also made seven outings, involving six starts, in the Champions League.
“I was just playing football at the beginning, so at the age of 11, 12, I didn’t think about playing for Germany or Ghana.
“Then Germany asked me and why should I say no when this was the only offer I got. That’s why I chose Germany.
“My mum wanted me to play for Ghana but I think she’s not sad that I’m playing for Germany now. I think she’s still happy.”
Henrichs has recently been linked to English side Tottenham Hotspur.