International football

Germany and England set for duel over Bayern star Musiala

Michael Ballack said Germany should only call up Bayern Munich youngster Jamal Musiala if the England Under-21 star has a desire to do so.

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Musiala must 'really want to play' for Germany over England, says Ballack

Germany should only call up Bayern Munich sensation Jamal Musiala if he "really wants" to change allegiances, according to former captain Michael Ballack.

After making his debut in June 2020, Bayern teenager Musiala has become a regular fixture in the Bundesliga champions' first-team squad, featuring in 15 games and scoring three goals this season.

The 17-year-old switched from Chelsea's youth academy to Bayern in July 2019 - aged 16 - before becoming Bayern's youngest ever senior player and their youngest goalscorer. 

Born in Stuttgart to a German mother and an English-Nigerian father, Musiala moved to London aged seven and represented England from Under-15 to U21 levels, as well as Germany U16s.

Although he last played for England against Albania in November 2020, Musiala remains eligible for both nations and it has been reported that a tug-of-war has been ongoing for some time.

The highly rated youngster has reportedly been contacted by England manager Gareth Southgate and Germany head coach Joachim Löw, but Ballack insisted Musiala should only play for Die Mannschaft if he is fully committed.

Ballack: Germany should consist of "players who really want to play"

"We talk about the German national team. It should consist of players that meet the requirements and really want to play for this team," Ballack, who earned 98 caps for Germany, told Stats Perform News.

"It also needs to meet the rules and everything else needs to be decided from the national coach."

Ballack, a World Cup and European Championship runner-up with Germany, admitted Musiala is not ready to pull on the senior national team jersey just yet.

That will not necessarily stop one nation from capping him and securing his future, but Ballack believes Musiala is the only one who can truly decide where his international fate lies.

"This case is a little bit of a political thing," Ballack added. "Of course, he is a very talented and promising player who is not completely ready to play for the national team but they want to make him play for Germany.

"I don't want to judge this from the distance. It's basically important that the player wants to play for Germany.

"Talks about this should be held and he [Musiala] has to tell his point of view. He is still very young, so these talks are very important."

Musiala is currently with Bayern at the Club World Cup and is set to feature in Thursday's final against Mexican side Tigres in Al Rayyan, Qatar.