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African Football

Barca Talent Chooses Canada Over Ivory Coast

Another African talent has opted against representing his African country of birth, pledging his international allegiance to Canada instead.

Read: Africa Loses Another Talent To Europe

Ballou Tabla was born in the Ivory Coast but moved to Montreal, Canada, when he was eight. The left-wing made his name in Major League Soccer, making his debut at the age of 17 years and 338 days for Didier Drogba's former club, Montreal Impact.

Earlier this year, the now 19-year-old joined Barcelona's B side and was part of Ernesto Valverde's squad that travelled to the US for the club's pre-season tour.

Tabla is now set to make his senior debut for Canada after officially making himself available for the team's CONCACAF Nations League clash against Dominica on 16 October.

"He's such a talented player, playing in an environment where he's developing every day and developing at the level that is going to help this country step up to the next level," Canada coach John Herdman told TSN.

"And he's improving. I think that's the exciting thing. He's getting more powerful. He has genuine dribbling ability, that technical ability and a mindset to want to beat players one-on-one. There aren't many players with his ability in tight spaces.

"I think he's going to bring something new to the country, very different as well to what we've got. That's what's exciting about Ballou. He'll be one of those players that will be very hard to pinpoint for opposition teams."

Read: Messi Climbs In '600 Goals' Club, Closes In On CR7

The Barcelona starlet has already represented Canada at U20 level, and made five appearances for the Catalan giants' B side, scoring once and setting a further strike.

Why do you think many African talents choose to represent other nations over their countries of birth? Have your say in the comments section below.

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