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Joseph to commit international future to Spain over England


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Leeds United forward Mateo Joseph has decided to commit his international future to Spain over England.

Joseph was born in the northern Spanish city of Santander to an English father and a Spanish mother and is eligible to play for both nations.

The 20-year-old has scored three goals in 10 games for England’s Under-20 side but has yet to make a senior international appearance.

Sources at the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) — who asked to remain anonymous as they did not have permission to comment — say that Joseph is set to be called up for Spain’s Under-21 squad on Friday for matches against Slovakia and Belgium next week.

The RFEF has already received approval from FIFA for Joseph’s change of association.

FIFA regulations introduced in September 2020 dictate that should Joseph make an international appearance for Spain, regardless if this is at senior or junior level, he will not be able to switch his international allegiance again. This would be a definitive end to him representing England in the future.

Joseph has made 14 appearances for Leeds in the Championship this season and scored twice, with his side in the thick of the promotion race.

He made his senior debut for them aged 19 in November 2022 and also appeared three times in the Premier League last season as they were relegated in 19th place.

Speaking to the England Football website last year, he said: “My dad is English, of Antiguan descent, and my mum is Spanish. So growing up during European Championships and World Cups, we would have two flags on our balcony: a Spanish one and the English one.

“We would support both national teams and it was like we had two teams in the tournament, which was an advantage because if one lost, we had another national team to support. So my family, my sisters and I have been supporting both national teams since we were young.”

Joseph is the latest young player to switch allegiances to Spain after the Netherlands youth defender Dean Huijsen became eligible to represent them last month. French-born centre-backs Aymeric Laporte and Robin Le Normand have both chosen to play for Spain in recent years.

Real Madrid playmaker Brahim Diaz chose to commit his future to Morocco over Spain this week and was called up to Walid Regragui’s squad on Wednesday for friendlies against Angola and Mauritania.


The Real Madrid star who gave up waiting on Spain: Brahim Diaz’s Morocco decision

(Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

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