Tuesday, 2 June 2020

A difficult decision for Billing

It has been reported that Philip Billing is still considering who he would most like to make himself available for when it comes to international football, according to ESPN. He has the option of playing for Denmark or Nigeria. Billing has a Nigerian father, but he grew up in Denmark and it is thought that he does think of himself as of Danish decent despite having enquired about playing for Nigeria.

Philip Billing has a decision to make.
International football is an easy decision for most individuals, but when you have the opportunity to play for a couple of teams it can't be quite so easy, especially when you don't want to offend anyone in your family or fans. Denmark have probably got less chance of winning any major titles, whereas Nigeria may well see themselves as Africa Cup of Nations winners in the next few years - and nobody would be surprised if that happened. Billing probably just wants to pick a nation where he can be sure to get games, but both these teams have had talented players in the past and have done okay on the world stage, even if Nigeria have perhaps not reached their true potential.

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It reminds me of the similar choice that Matt Ritchie had to make a few years ago. He chose to play for Scotland via his father's line, even though he hadn't even stepped in Scotland himself, until he played for them. Having an identity is something that many take for granted, but it is surprising the number of players now who get to their early 20s who still haven't stated exactly what nationality they are taking up in terms of sport. It is as if advisors are now telling them to keep their options open, and understandably this can rattle some people when they see a talented player decide not to play for their national team.

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I expect Billing will follow his heart. Anything less is hard to live with and players want to give their all when they get to national team level. I hope Billing can live with the choice he makes, and for AFCB it will be good if he does get selected soon to improve his abilities playing with players that are of a higher standard. Travel distance may also be a consideration, but it really has to come down to the gut feeling of the player involved.


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