Napoli's Diawara on choosing Guinea and denying Italy interest

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The Napoli midfielder previously turned down call-ups to play for Guinea, before pledging international allegiance to Syli Nationale earlier this year

Napoli midfielder Amadou Diawara says he never considered playing for Italy before, as he now prepares to make his debut for Guinea against Rwanda in Friday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Conakry.

The 21-year-old who holds Italian citizenship did not accept previous call-ups to the Guinea squad amid speculation that he had ambitions to play for Italy.

“I have always dreamt of playing for Guinea because it is very important,” Diawara was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“I never said I would play for Italy. I was not ready to come to the squad yet. The moment is here, now I am ready to play for my nation.

“I think Guinea can get to a high level because there are good players. I too will try to bring something and we will help each other.”

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Diawara’s arrival is expected to strengthen the Guinea squad that is enjoying a 100 percent record in the Afcon qualifiers in which they beat Ivory Coast 3-2 away in Abijan in their opening match last year.

They also beat Central African Republic 1-0 last month at home.

After meeting Rwanda on Friday, they play the same side away next Tuesday.

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