YUNUS MUSAH had his pick of playing for four different nations — and he plumped for the USA.
Despite 32 appearances in Three Lions youth teams, he went back to where it all started and made his USA senior debut in 2020.
Two years on from that decision the midfielder, 19, is set to don the stars and stripes in tomorrow’s World Cup group clash against the very nation he snubbed.
Musah said: “I never spoke one- on-one with Gareth Southgate but he gave us a talk one day, as a team. It was great to have the England manager speak to you.
“I was hoping one day I’d be selected by him. With England I had an amazing time, nothing to complain about. Great coaches, a great experience.
“I don’t like to identify myself as part of one country because in every country that I have been in, I have been there for a while.
“It got to the time where I had to make a decision for my career.
“I was young and I had an opportunity to play with a great team in the US. My first camp two years ago showed me I wanted to play for these guys, this manager and this nation.”
Musah has certainly played his part in helping the Yanks avenge their failure to qualify for Russia 2018 by earning a spot in Qatar.
Their opening 1-1 draw with Wales ended a 3,065-day run since their last World Cup outing.
Musah shone in midfield and is likely to line up against England.
Asked if he has thought about how it will feel to hear both the US and English national anthem, he smiled: “Yeah, I have.”
Musah turns 20 on Tuesday as the US faces Iran in a potential knockout decider and has risen a long way since coming through in the Arsenal academy.
He added: “How all this came together was a bit crazy, but now I’m here and taking it all in.
“I used to play for England with Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham then I switched so now I am here. To share a field with them will be very special.”
Another US star with close links to England is Gio Reyna.
Bellingham’s club-mate said: “He is definitely my best friend at Dortmund.
“We have been talking some smack but I love him. We will both be ready to battle.”