Imago/PA Images Ryan Johansson in action for Bayern Munich.
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‘I want to play in World Cups and the Euros. Anything is possible’
Sevilla ace Ryan Johansson has revealed why he chose Ireland over Sweden and Luxembourg.

RYAN JOHANSSON, THE Sevilla midfielder who was eligible to represent three countries, has outlined the reasons why he has declared for Ireland.

The 20-year-old, formerly on Bayern Munich’s books, won his appeal to Fifa to switch allegiance from Luxembourg.

“It has been a long wait but I’m delighted,” said Johansson. “Playing for the team will be nerve-wrecking but exciting at the same time.”

Born in Luxembourg to an Irish mother and Swedish father, Johansson played for Luxembourg at underage level while also playing for three clubs: Metz, Bayern Munich and now Sevilla. “Those teams really set me up for where I am today,” he said in an interview with FAI TV. “I have noticed the difference in the coaching between the countries. That has helped me a lot in my development.

“I do think that Spain is the best place for me in terms of my playing style.”

But Ireland, he feels, is best for him in terms of his international future.

“There are multiple reasons why I have made this decision,” he said. “It was never easy to turn down a country that I love. I am patriotic for all three countries I am eligible for.

“But I do feel more attached to Ireland in a sense. My mum is Irish; I have a lot of family living there.

“Football factors were key in my decision, too. The professionalism of how the Irish coaches, the FAI, the staff handled everything in terms (of my application to switch allegiance) was key.

“Playing for Ireland’s Under 19s was an amazing experience, I was welcomed into the team – but once it came down to it, my parents asked, ‘who do you want to play for?’ For me, it was a no brainer. Ireland was where my heart wanted to go.

“There was definitely a time when I thought there was no chance of that happening. I had kind of given up. My parents had closed that door due to Fifa saying I was not eligible. It has been a tough process but it definitely was worth it now that I am able to play for Ireland.

“Like most national teams, I want to play in World Cups and European Championships. Anything is possible with the talent coming through the Irish system right now. I think Ireland can do amazing things and hopefully win some trophies. That would be the ultimate goal.”

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