Sunday 23rd July, 2017
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Zaha: World Cup dream central to Cote d'Ivoire decision

Zaha:  World Cup dream central to Cote d'Ivoire decision

Crystal Palace winger Wil­fried Zaha’s desire to play in a World Cup was cen­tral in his decision to switch in­ternational allegiance to the Ivo­ry Coast.

Zaha said he was “playing well enough to be in and around the England squad” and that the lack of recognition had con­vinced him to instead represent the country of his birth.

“I have goals in my life such as playing in a World Cup and winning things and I don’t want to be overlooked by a player that’s at a bigger club than me,” he elaborated.

“No matter what I did, it felt like I wouldn’t get picked, so I’ve done it to have a better international career.”

The 24-year-old also re­vealed that Didier Drogba and Saloman Kalou had lobbied him to play for the Ivory Coast “years ago”.

Zaha won a pair of full England caps in 2012 and 2013 but as both were in friendlies he was free to switch nations. He also played 11 times for Eng­land’s under-21s.

Zaha missed a number of club matches to play in the Af­rica Cup of Nations

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