Ghanaian Williams brothers enter the 2022 World Cup with divided allegiances

Athletic Bilbao forwards, Iniaki Williams and Nico Williams join the list of siblings playing for different flags at international levels.

Coming up from the Bilbao Academy, Iniaki has made over 340 appearances. He boasts an ongoing record of 230 consecutive first team appearances for Bilbao.

With the likes of Callum Hudson Odoi and Tariq Lamptey choosing to represent the Black Stars of Ghana in the upcoming World Cup, Iniaki followed suit. Iniaki was born in Spain to Mr Félix Williams and Mariah Arthuer on June 15, 1994. The 28-year old striker chose to represent Ghana in the upcoming World Cup tournament.

Iniaki Williams made his debut for Spain in May 29 2016. He subbed on for Marco Asensio at the hour mark. In the same year, Ghanaian scouts wanted his services for their country. In 2021 and with no further call-ups or matches associating him permanently with Spain, he decided to defect to Ghana. Considering the fact that his parents are from Accra, he has strong ties with the country.

Nico Williams on the other hand did not share his brother’s thoughts and chose to represent Spain. Born on July 12 2002 in Spain, Nico was outspoken about his preference at international level. Nico Williams rose from the Spanish youth category, playing in the Spanish U18 and U21.

The 20 year old got his first call-up to the Spanish senior team by Luis Enrique, for the just concluded UEFA Nations League group stages. He made two appearances although none had him as a starter. His headed assist for Morata in the 88th minute against Portugal was enough to stake a claim for Qatar.

The family will indeed be with divided hearts rooting for two different countries to lift the FIFA World Cup trophy. The boys may have similar routes at club level but at international level, their destinies are set apart.

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