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