Zaha: England Rejected Me


Wilfried Zaha says England didn’t think about him for four years

Wilfried Zaha has no regrets about choosing to play for the Ivory Coast after being “rejected from the England side”.

The 24-year-old Crystal Palace winger was an England Under-21 team regular before stepping up to the senior side and earning caps against Sweden, in November 2012, and Scotland, in August 2013.

However, because neither match was a competitive fixture, Zaha, who was born in Abidjan, committed to the Ivory Coast in 2016.

The Palace winger played in England friendlies against Sweden and Scotland

“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.

“As for me not playing for England, I’ve got no regret at all. I’m happy with the decision I made.”

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