Ivory Coast star Wilfried Zaha explains why he has no regrets not waiting for England chance
Posted: 5 June 2018 Time: 19:30
Wilfried Zaha says he has no regrets about his decision to represent Ivory Coast after being 'rejected' by England despite the fact that he'll be missing the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Zaha was tipped to be one of England's future stars after breaking into the Crystal Palace first-team as a teenager back in 2010.
A move to Manchester United soon followed after 143 appearances for the Eagles in the English second-tier and he was soon called up to the senior England team in 2012.
As Sir Alex Ferguson's final signing before retirement, his career progression didn't go as planned as he failed to establish himself at Old Trafford.
However, since re-joining Palace after a couple of loan deals, Zaha has become one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League as a tricky forward with the ability to glide past defenders at will.
After scoring nine league goals last season, it's been debated in English media whether Zaha could have been a star for Gareth Southgate's side after the manager himself failed to convince him to switch his allegiance in 2017.
"It was just like I was rejected from the England side," Zaha told CNN Sport. "I didn't get picked or even get a look in for four years.
"Four years in football is a long time so it's like there's no regret at all. No one even thought about me at all. And Ivory Coast, even though I told them no, they still had the belief in me and still wanted me because they knew what I could do for the team.
"Obviously we may not be in the World Cup but it's just a learning curve. From there, what we need to do is just get better and hopefully try and get into the next one.
"As for me not playing for England, I've got no regret at all. I'm happy with the decision I made."