Why do brothers Inaki and Nico Williams play for different countries? Athletic Bilbao stars both in Qatar for World Cup

    Brothers Inaki and Nico Williams will both be competing at the 2022 World Cup, although they won’t be playing for the same country. 

    The Athletic Bilbao stars have played together in La Liga for the last two seasons but will be on different sides in Qatar. 

    Brothers Inaki and Nico Williams will both be competing for different countries at the 2022 World Cup

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    Brothers Inaki and Nico Williams will both be competing for different countries at the 2022 World Cup

    Inaki has been called up to the Ghana squad while Nico will be making an appearance at the World Cup with Spain.

    Why do Inaki and Nico Williams play for different countries? 

    The Williams brothers were born in Spain to Ghanaian parents who made a treacherous journey to Europe in search for a better life. 

    They settled in the Basque Country region and Inaki was born soon after they arrived in 1994 with Nico born eight years later in 2002. 

    Both players would end up joining the Athletic Bilbao academy and they have been teammates since Nico stepped up to the first team last year. 

    However, on the international stage, they will be rivals. 

    Nico will only be gaining his third cap if he makes an appearance in Qatar

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    Nico will only be gaining his third cap if he makes an appearance in Qatar

    Inaki played for Spain at youth level before struggling to gain a senior call-up despite his form in La Liga and earlier this year he decided to switch his allegiance. 

    The striker accepted an offer to switch nationalities to represent the birthplace of his parents, Ghana.

    Speaking to the BBC, the 28-year-old said: “It wasn’t an easy decision to make. 

    “I had to consult with my family and loved ones, because the decision would impact me during the next years of my career – not only in sporting terms but also on a personal level. 

    “I told my grandfather, who told me it would be a dream for him to see me in the national team jersey. He is 90. He said he doesn’t have long to live, but that he would like to see me play in a World Cup with the national team.

    “When he told me those words, I didn’t have to think anymore.”

    Inaki’s decision was influenced by his family members

    Getty – Contributor

    Inaki’s decision was influenced by his family members

    Unlike Inaki, Nico received his first senior call-up in September after playing for Spain at youth level. 

    The 20-year-old now has two caps after appearing in the Nations League. 

    Luis Enrique then called him up to the World Cup squad in what was a somewhat shocking move, but the youngster is likely to step up on the big stage. 

    The brothers are not in the same group in Qatar but it is possible for them to meet in the quarter-finals if both Spain and Ghana make it through. 

    On a possible meeting, Inaki said: “Hopefully it  will happen… and that Ghana wins!”

    “We’ll see about that,” Nico replied. “But for sure we will be exchanging shirts after the match.”

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