Sevilla midfielder Ryan Johansson says it “feels amazing” to have been given the green light to represent the Republic of Ireland.
The 20-year-old, who qualifies for three countries, has won his appeal to FIFA to switch allegiance from Luxembourg.
Johansson has an Irish mother, and has previously represented both the Boys in Green and Luxembourg at underage level.
“It feels amazing,” Johansson told FAI TV.
“It was quite the long wait but definitely worth it. I honestly don’t think it has sunk in yet. I think playing with the team and putting the shirt on will definitely be nerve wracking but exciting. Now I’m concentrating on the next time I can play with the team.”
The former Bayern Munich player has played for both Luxembourg and Ireland at underage level, but says he always felt most attached to Ireland.
“There were multiple reasons and it was never easy to turn down countries I love – and I’m very patriotic for all three countries I am eligible for – but I do feel more attached to Ireland.
“I have a lot of family there, my mother is Irish but also football was an important factor brought into the decision. Also the professionalism of the Irish coaches and how they handled everything as well as the staff from the FAI for setting me up to be able to play for Ireland.
“Playing with Ireland in the U19s was an amazing experience. I think I was welcomed very well into the team through the coaches and the players, so multiple reasons that made me make the decision.
“But once it came down to it and once my parents asked me the questions, ‘who do you really want to play for?’ and ‘what is your final decision?’, it was a no-brainer in a sense of choosing Ireland.
“That’s where my heart wanted to go.”
“Like with most national teams, I want to play in the European Championships and the World Cup.
“I think anything is possible with the talent coming through with Ireland right now. You see a lot of young players playing in the first team and I think that’s a big advantage for Ireland moving forward.
“I hope, and I think, that Ireland can do amazing things with football. Hopefully some trophies and some silverware – that’s the ultimate goal.”
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