FC Barcelona reserve team winger Ballou Tabla has pledged his international future to Canada over Cote d’Ivoire, where he was born and where his parents hail from.
The 19-year-old moved to Canada at the age of 8 and has played for the youth teams of The Canucks.
“It’s a decision that was made at 50% for a very long time. I was able to reflect with my family, talk with my brothers and everyone, and I was able to think for myself and think that Canada’s national team is the best decision,” Tabla said in a statement released by Canadian Soccer Association on Thursday.
“I arrived very young in Canada. Canada has done a lot for me and my family. I think it’s a country that gave me a lot and I have to give back.”
Tabla was spotted by former Cote d’Ivoire captain Didier Drogba while both played together at Canadian club Montreal Impact two years ago, paving way for talks with the Ivorian FA over a possible switch of allegiance in favour of the Elephants.
Tabla signed with FC Barcelona B on an initial 3-year deal in January this year.