Saturday Nov 06, 2021. 10:00
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has insisted that Wilfried Zaha is always ready to play for Ivory Coast ahead of the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
This comes after reports indicating that Crystal Palace winger was contemplating his international future with Ivory Coast head coach Patrice Beaumelle having stated that Zaha requested to be dropped from the national team.
Zaha was omitted from the latest Elephants squad which is set to lock horns with Mozambique and Cameroon for the Fifa World Cup qualifiers on November 13 and 16, respectively.
“Wilfried still wants and still hopes to go to international,” Vieira told Football London.
“He made it clear to myself, talking to him, about how much he loves playing for the Ivory Coast national team, how proud it will be for him to be the World Cup with Ivory Coast.
“He still wants to go to the international stage, so I was quite surprised to see all these comments coming out in the last couple of days.”
Zaha, who played for England in two non-competitive matches before switching his international allegiance to Ivory Coast in 2017, has scored five goals in 22 international matches for the Elephants,
The Elephants are set to take part in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon in January and Vieira is prepared to release Zaha if the player is included in the squad for the tournament,
“What I know is that he still wants to go to international, so we will support and I will support him,” Vieira, who was born in Senegal, said.
“It’s up to the manager to make the decision about who he will call.”