By Mohamed Fajah Barrie
Napoli midfielder Amadou Diawara says his dream has always been to play for Guinea and not Italy.
The 21-year old was talking ahead of his first appearance for Guinea in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda in Conakry on Friday.
Diawara, who was born in Conakry, has been in Italy since 2014 and has since secured an Italian citizenship.
“I have always dreamt of playing for Guinea because it is very important,” said Diawara.
“I never said I would play for Italy.”
He is back in Guinea after five years away from home and explained why he had turned down previous call-ups for the Syli Nationale.
Diawara pledged his international allegiance to Guinea after several call-ups to previous squads.
He explained he was encouraged to accept the call-up after talking to Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita and the leadership of the Guinea Football Federation.
“I was not ready yet to come to the squad. The moment is here, now I am ready to play for my nation,” he explained.
“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.”
Guinea are currently top of Group H of the 2019 Nations Cup qualifiers with maximum points from two matches ahead of Ivory Coast, Central African Republic and Rwanda. BBC Sport.