Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore
Thursday Mar 29, 2018. 11:00
Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore says he never considered playing for Mali despite having familial roots in the West African country.
The 22-year-old, who was born in Spain and started his professional career with Barcelona, was courted by the Malian FA.
However, he turned down their offer to represent the country and has instead committed himself to Spain by opting to represent their U-21 side as they prepare for next year’s European Championships.
He made his debut for La Rojita on March 22 in a match against their Northern Ireland counterparts.
"I had the choice of going with Mali, who called me. I spoke to them to make it clear that I wanted to play for Spain, my family are from there, and how they have treated me and trusted me," he told Marca.
"I never [considered playing for Mali], but I did have to listen to them out of respect and because it's where my family come from."