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Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams has revealed that the love shown to him by Ghanaians when he visited the country last month with his brother Nico is the reason he decided to switch allegiance from Spain to Ghana.

Williams was among a number of foreign-born stars who confirmed their availability for the Blacks Stars alongside Southampton’s Mohammed Salisu, Brighton & Hove Albion’s Tariq Lamptey, Stephan Ambrosius, Patrick Pfeffer and Ransford Yeboah early this week.

The Spain-born forward, whose parents are Ghanaian, was eligible for a switch having played only once for the Spanish senior team.

Williams said:

The people told me to play for Black Stars. They said; ‘You’re a striker, you’re the best’.

This was special for me because in Spain, I am famous but I did not know I was famous in Ghana. This was special and made the decision to switch easy. I am going to work hard 100 per cent to raise the Ghana flag.

It was beautiful playing for Spain. I have lived in Spain all my life but I did not forget Ghana. Ghana is special to me because my family and parents are here, my blood is here, so I didn’t forget Ghana people.

I came here and I saw all the people, all the people treated me well, called on me to come here and play here. I feel I am Ghanaian at heart and enjoy this country.

My parents are Ghanaian and I did not forget that my parents moved from this country to Spain. I felt I needed to give Ghanaians something and that something is football.

I am ready for the pressure that comes with playing for the Black Stars because it is part of football. I have played over 300 games in Bilbao and I have pressure every Sunday when I play because have to defend the shirt.

Ghana are in a tough Group H at the 2022 World Cup which also includes Portugal, South Kore and Uruguay. However, the Basque-born forward feels qualification for the round of 16 is possible.

He said

Eleven against 11 anything can happen in football. It is a difficult group, but the team will do everything to qualify to the next round.

In what will excite Black Stars fans, the forward also credited some Ghanaian delicacies for his speed which has seen him ranked the fastest player in La Liga on numerous occasions.

He added:

I’ve been eating fufu and waakye. My mum cooks for us. Fufu and peanut soup makes me fast, I love peanut soup.

Williams made his debut for the Bilbao senior team in December 2014, becoming the second black player to turn up for the side, and has gone on to make 340 appearances while scoring 73 goals.

By Amara

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