MANCHESTER United winger Adnan Januzaj has chosen to play international football for Belgium, according to coach Marc Wilmots.
The 19-year-old’s breakthrough into the Old Trafford first team at the start of this season started the debate over which country he would go on to represent.
Born in Brussels, Januzaj is also able to play for Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and Turkey, while he was strongly linked with selection for England after manager Roy Hodgson admitted an interest in him.
Januzaj would not have been eligible for England until 2018 – five years after his 18th birthday – but the point is now seemingly moot.
Writing on his official Twitter account, Wilmots stated: “I received official confirmation that Adnan Januzaj will play for the Belgian national team for the rest of his career.” There was no official comment from the Belgian Football Association or Januzaj himself – but if true it puts him in with a chance of going to this summer’s World Cup.
Wilmots is expected to announce his initial squad on 13 May but it now seems a matter of when, not if, Januzaj plays for Belgium.
Earlier this year Hodgson left any decision making to the Football Association, saying: “It’s a matter for the FA Board because it raises a lot of issues.
“Until such time as the FA Board have it very clear what their policy is going to be, is it going to be simply following Fifa dictates or slightly different in some way? All I can do is wait and see. But with Januza,j whichever way England decide to go, there’s no way he can play for England for the next few years.”