Please enable JavaScript to experience the full functionality of GMX.

No regrets for 'England reject' Zaha

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha feels he was "rejected" from the England side and has no regrets about opting to play for Ivory Coast.

The 25-year-old was born in the African nation's economic capital Abidjan but moved with his family to London at the age of four.

The winger kicked off his professional career with the Eagles in 2010 before moving to Manchester United in 2013 but, after that turned out to be a non-event, he was back at Selhurst Park in 2014.

Having played for the England Under-19 and Under-21 sides, the skilful winger earned full international recognition with the Three Lions on a couple of occasions.

However, both his appearance against Sweden in November 2012 and Scotland in August 2013 were in friendlies, meaning he could still represent another nation.

Zaha took up that option in 2017 and now plays for the land of his birth and has scored two goals from eight outings.

It could all have been different had he played in a qualifier for England but the former Cardiff City loan star is happy with the choice he made.

"It was just like I was rejected from the England side," Zaha told CNN Sport. "I didn't get picked or even get a look in for four years.

"Four years in football is a long time so it's like there's no regret at all. No one even thought about me at all. And Ivory Coast, even though I told them no, they still had the belief in me and still wanted me because they knew what I could do for the team.

"Obviously we may not be in the World Cup but it's just a learning curve. From there, what we need to do is just get better and hopefully try and get into the next one."

Sponsored Content