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African Football

12 Players Who Snubbed Europe For Africa

After a Manchester United star could reportedly switch his international allegiance from England to DR Congo, here are some Europe-born players who did actually turn their back on their countries of birth to represent African nations.

Click through the gallery above to see some of the Africans stars who were born in Europe!

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is said to be tired of waiting for an England call-up and could opt to represent DR Congo should Gareth Southgate not name him in next Three Lions squad.

Wan-Bissaka was born in Croydon, England, but is of Congolese descent and has also featured for the African country's U20 side.

He would not be the first player born outside of Africa to decide to play for the country of their family's roots.

Achraf Hakimi, for example, was born in Madrid, Spain, where he grew up to Moroccan parents. The Inter Milan right-back came through Real Madrid's academy before joining Borussia Dortmund on loan and ultimately leaving for the Serie A side.

He decided early on in his career to represent the birth country of his parents instead of 2010 FIFA World Cup champions Spain.

Scroll through the gallery below to see some players you didn't know could still represent African countries:

Another famous example of players who snubbed Europe for Africa is Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Senegal captain was born in Saint-Die-des-Vosges, France, and even represented the European nation at the 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup.

However, in 2015, Koulibaly opted to switch his allegiance to play for Senegal, despite strong interest from France coach Didier Deschamps, telling the BBC he "wants to write the future of Senegal football".

Read: 16 Footballers You Didn't Know Were Born in Africa

He has since represented the Lions of Teranga 43 times and was part of the squad that reached the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final – you can find more Europe-born players who are playing for Africa in the gallery above!

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