Between Finding His Roots and Playing Overseas, Could Anthony Limbombe Choose to Represent DR Congo?
Belgian-born, Anthony Limbombe who is of Congolese descent has for the past weeks made headlines after extending his contract with Club Brugge which should keep him at the club until 2021.
Since his arrival at Bruges from NEC Nijmegen in 2016, the 23-year-old has so far scored five goals and seven assists this season and has emerged as a key player for the Blauw-Zwart.
Limbombe shares a similar story with several players of African descent who were born in Europe, and players who were born in Africa but immigrated to Europe where they started their football career. At this point, many are left with options to decide which country to represent, either country of birth or country of origin by naturalization.
Christian Benteke, Michy Batshuayi, Romelu Lukaku, and Eliaquim Mangala; all of Congolese descent are no exception to this scenario, but chose to represent Belgium after featuring at both youth and senior international team levels.
Limbombe has represented Belgium at U16, U17 and U19 international levels, but is still eligible to play for DR Congo and Belgium. The 23-year-old’s status is a similar one to fellow compatriot also of Congolese-descent, Cédric Bakambu who was born in France.
Bakambu represented France at both under-18 and under-19 level. He was part of the team that won the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Championship in France. Despite edging very close to represent France, Bakambu opted to represent DR Congo at senior level In March 2015.
“I hadn’t even played a match yet they made banners for me. It’s really something else. It was through football that I discovered my country,”
Bakambu said after he was greeted by Congolese fans upon his arrival in Kinshasa.
Since opting to represent DR Congo, Bakambu has so far scored 7 goals out of 16 caps for his national team. Could Anthony Limbombe tread the same path to represent DR Congo?
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