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Lyon's Pape Cheikh Diop chooses to play for Spain over Senegal

Lyon's Pape Cheikh Diop chooses to play for Spain over Senegal

ANDREW BOYERS

REUTERS

The 21-year-old is determined to feature for La Roja after snubbing several calls from the Lions of Teranga.

Lyon midfielder Pape Cheikh Diop has pledged his international allegiance to Spain over his birthplace of Senegal.

The 21-year-old moved to Spain at the age of 14. He has represented the Iberian country at U18, U19 and U20 level, and was a key member of the squad that won the UEFA European Championship in 2015.

Senegal tried to convince Diop

On several occasions, the Senegal Football Federation tried to convince Diop to play for the Teranga Lions. However, the midfielder has made his intentions clear over his international future.

"I have been called by Senegal several times, but I remain committed to Spain," the BBC quoted Diop as saying.

"Of course, I can never forget my origin, I am Senegalese, but I also feel Spanish.

"Spain has given me everything and I want to give back in return. I am very happy with the decision I've made."

Under FIFA rules, the Lyon star can still switch allegiances as he is yet to play a competitive match for Spain's senior side.

Diop kicked off his European career at Spanish amateur clubs CIA and Montañeros CF, which paved the way for him to join Celta Vigo in 2013.

Last summer, he signed for Lyon on a five-year deal.

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