The moment Jamal Musiala chose Germany and rejected England

On Friday evening, Jamal Musiala dazzled as Germany overcame Scotland 5-1 in the opening game of Euro 2024. Having been voted player of the match, despite the performances of Florian Wirtz and İlkay Gündoğan, Musiala was considered Germany’s best player, but it could have been so different.

Born in Stuttgart, before breaking through the Bayern Munich academy to represent the first team, it would be easy to believe that Germany is all the 21-year-old has known. However, despite being eligible to represent Nigeria through his father, Musiala could have also chosen to play for England at international level.

At the age of seven, Musiala moved to England with his family, where his talent was quickly spotted. Having represented his school on behalf of a number of EFL clubs, Musiala would eventually be signed by Southampton before leaving for Chelsea’s academy, where he would remain for seven years.

This even saw Musiala represent England at U15, U16, U17, and U21 levels. However, when the decision came to either choose England or Germany for the senior game, there was only ever going to be one outcome.

Jamal Musiala’s love affair with the German national team

In an interview with Bild, the 21-year-old revealed a private picture that his mother had taken during a visit to Stuttgart in 2011. The picture shows Musiala proudly posing in front of the German national team bus, with his hand pointing to the DFB logo.

Commenting on the photo, Musiala stated: “I don’t remember much about it, but the photo is really cool. My mom takes a lot of photos. It’s great that she captured this moment.” 

After the picture took place, Germany went on to beat Brazil 3-2 in Stuttgart with goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Götze, and André Schürrle—remarkably, the latter two would combine for Germany’s winning goal at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Reminiscing on the game, Musiala revealed: “Back then, I was already a big Germany fan; I always wore a jersey.”

Therefore, deep down, the German national team always had a hold over Musiala, and when it came to making the decision, the fight put up by Joachim Löw and Oliver Bierhoff convinced the Bayern star to listen to his gut. 

“In the end, I listened to the feeling that has been telling me for a long time that it is the right decision to play for Germany, the country where I was born. But it was not an easy decision.”

Now, it is no longer Schweinsteiger, Götze, or Schürrle convincing children to play for the German national team; instead, it is Musiala himself. Adored by his native homeland, should Germany go on to lift European silverware, Musiala will undoubtedly write himself into German national team folklore. 

GGFN | Will Shopland

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