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Adnan Januzaj: Man Utd player to represent Belgium


Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj has decided to represent Belgium in international football.

The Red Devils’ national coach Marc Wilmots made the announcement on Twitter  and said he was “delighted” by the player’s decision.

Januzaj’s journey

  • Born in Brussels to Kosovan-Albanian parents in 1995
  • Joins Anderlecht youth in 2005, and spends six years at club before moving to Manchester United in 2011
  • Januzaj impresses Sir Alex Ferguson at youth level. The Scot calls him a “beautifully balanced player” and gives him a spot on the bench for his final game in charge, against West Brom in May
  • Januzaj scores in a pre-season friendly in Hong Kong before making his competitive debut as a substitute in the 2-0 win against Wigan in the Community Shield
  • Substitute appearances in the Premier League and League Cup follow before he scores twice in his first start, againstSunderland on Saturday 5 October
  • Signs five-year United contract two weeks later

Januzaj was born in the Belgian capital of Brussels to Kosovan-Albanian parents and joined United in 2011.

The 19-year-old could have played for Kosovo, Albania, Turkey, Serbia and, potentially in the future, England.

Januzaj will now be considered for Belgium’s World Cup squad, with a 30-man provisional squad due to be named on 13 May.

He has yet to play international football at any level, but was invited to play for Kosovo in a friendly in March.

Signed by United from Anderlecht for areported fee of £297,000, Januzaj could have played for England from 2018 assuming he remained in the country.

Fifa rules state a player is eligible if “he has lived continuously for at least five years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory of the relevant association”.

He qualified for Albania through his parents and Turkey through his grandparents. He could also have represented Serbia after Kosovo declared independence from the country in 2008.

Januzaj made his league debut for United as a substitute in a 2-0 win at home to Crystal Palace in September, and scored both goals for the defending Premier League champions in his first start, a 2-1 victory at Sunderland, on 5 October 2013.

Following Januzaj’s goalscoring full debut, Wilmots said he wanted him to play for Belgium, while England manager Roy Hodgson admitted he had been keeping an eye on a player whom he described as a “real talent”.

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