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Friday, August 19, 2022

I will defend Ghana’s jersey

Inaki Williams

Inaki Williams has confirmed his decision to play for the Ghana national team, the Black Stars in a video released on Tuesday evening.

In the video posted on Twitter, the Athletic Bilbao striker said, “I will defend Ghana’s T-shirt.”

Williams was born in Spain to Ghanaian immigrants and said last year that he feels more Spanish, despite his love for Ghana.

However, Williams is now in favour of donning the Ghana colours.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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Iñaki earlier expressed reservations about switching nationalities for Ghana in an interview last year, saying, “My parents are from Accra, and I really enjoy going.

“But I wasn’t born or raised there, my culture is here, and there are players who would mean more.

“I don’t think it would be right to take the place of someone who really deserves to go and feels Ghana 100%,” he added.

Williams was in Ghana in June with his younger brother Nico Williams, who also plays for Bilbao.

Nico is a member of Spain’s U-21 team, but GFA is hopeful that he will join the Black Stars in the future.

Inaki, 27, committed to Spain and played in one friendly match against Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2016. Before that, he played for Spain’s U-21 team, scoring three goals in 17 games.

Williams now has the LaLiga record for most consecutive appearances (233) after breaking the previous mark of 202 in October.

The move gives Ghana a boost ahead of this year’s World Cup in Qatar, where they are grouped with Portugal, Uruguay, and South Korea in Group H. The tournament begins on November 21.

Inaki is also available for selection in the doubleheader of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations [AFCON] qualifiers against Angola in September.

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