Ireland’s newest recruit: Who exactly is Ryan Johansson?

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Ryan Johansson

The Sevilla midfielder was included in Jim Crawford’s Ireland u21 squad which was announced this morning.

After years of eligibility issues which prevented Ryan Johansson from representing Ireland, the Luxembourg born midfielder/right-back has finally been deemed fit to don the green jersey. The Sevilla man was included in Jim Crawford’s under-21 squad scheduled to play three friendlies in the coming weeks. His inclusion marks his first time in an Ireland squad at any level since 2018 which is great news, it will be like winning on best aussie online casino for Irish soccer fans.

“There were multiple reasons and it was never easy to turn down countries I love – and I’m very patriotic for all three countries I am eligible for – but I do feel more attached to Ireland,” said Johansson to FAI TV on his decision to represent Ireland.

“But once it came down to it and once my parents asked me the questions ‘who do you really want to play for?’ and ‘what is your final decision?’, it was a no-brainer in a sense of choosing Ireland. That’s where my heart wanted to go.”

It now looks like Johansson will be a permanent fixture in Ireland squads for years to come, but what led up to this moment?

BACKGROUND

As Johansson mentioned in his interview with FAI TV, he’s eligible for three countries.

He was born and grew up in Luxembourg which explains his eligibility for them. But how is he eligible for Ireland? Well, the 20-year-old has an mother who was born in England to Irish parents, but moved back to Ireland aged 10. His father is Swedish meaning he could also represent them.

HIS CAREER TO DATE

EARLY BEGINNINGS

Johansson started his youth career in Luxembourg and played for Racing FC Union Luxembourg up until 2015 when he signed for current French Ligue 1 side FC Metz. The French club have helped develop the likes of Sadio Mané, Maxwel Cornet and Miralem Pjanić in recent years.

Johansson would spend just one year with Metz, playing for various underage sides including their under-17s.

Johansson trained with former club Racing FC Union Luxembourg as well as the first-team of Jeunesse Esch after leaving FC Metz. Many of their supporters play the best online casino which can make them some extra cash.

FC BAYERN MUNICH

Johansson attracted the attention of Bayern Munich during his time at Metz and would sign for the German club in 2017.

It was during this time that Johansson would first come to the attention of the FAI who began trying to secure the international future of the then 16-year-old.

Johansson appeared for the side’s under-17 side during the 17/18 season, appearing 24 times across all competitions and registering 6 goal contributions during that time. Bayern Munich won the German under-17 Bundesliga that season.

After the 17/18 season ended, Johansson impressed to such an extent that he was included in Bayern Munich’s pre-season squad. He made three appearances in that Summer’s Champions Cup against the elite competition of PSG, Juventus and Manchester City.

It was shortly after this that reports begun emerging of Johansson’s decision to play for Ireland in upcoming under-18 friendly fixtures.

Those reports came true as he was selected in the Ireland under-18 squad to take on Wales on two separate occasions in September 2018. Johansson had previously represented Luxembourg and Sweden at youth level.

Johansson made his Ireland debut at the (then named) City Calling Stadium in Longford and was introduced as a substitute in the 62nd minute. He looked highly composed in the centre of the park during his cameo, despite Wales winning the match 1-0.

He started just a couple of days and lasted over 60 minutes in a 2-0 win at Eamonn Deacy Park.

Current senior internationals Troy Parrott, Adam Idah, Conor Coventry, Lee O’Connor, Jason Knight and Aaron Connolly all started for Ireland over the few days.

After that, Johansson explained that he was not ready to commit to Ireland and appeared for Luxembourg’s under-21 and under-19 sides in the coming months. His commitment to Luxembourg didn’t last long and he declared for the Boys in Green the following January.

He appeared for Bayern Munich’s under-19s during the 18/19 season and made 25 appearances across all competitions, registering 5 goal contributions.

Johansson was included in Bayern Munich’s squad for pre-season competition called the Audi Cup in the Summer along with a handful of other youth footballers. He started – and impressed – against a Spurs side including an unused Troy Parrott on the bench in July.

However, concerning news about his international future broke just days later.

His eligibility for Ireland was called into question thus preventing him from representing the country at any level. The reason being because his family failed to apply for his Irish citizenship through the Foreign Births Register before making his first appearance for Luxembourg at the age of 15.

Johansson maintained his desire to represent Ireland at first but after months of nothing changing, he declared his interest in representing Sweden in January 2020.

He continued to turn out for Bayern’s under-19s in the 19/20 season, making 19 appearances and putting up 11 goal contributions across all competitions.

SEVILLA

After impressing for Bayern, La Liga side Sevilla swooped in for Johansson and signed the youngster for an undisclosed fee in January 2020. He signed a 6-year contract with the Spanish club, showing how highly he is rated.

He made 6 appearances for Sevilla’s underage sides that season after signing, contributing 1 assist in the process.

He only appeared 8 times in all competitions during the 20/21 season, owing to an injury suffered in December.

It was reported earlier this month that Johansson’s eligibility for Ireland had changed status owing to new FIFA rules, meaning he is now able to represent the country again after almost 2 years of uncertainty surrounding his international future.

The new rules state that a player can change switch allegiance even if they didn’t have nationality of the country they wish to represent at the time of their first appearance for their previous national team, provided they last played for their previous national team before the age of 21.

Jim Crawford’s under-21 squad was announced this morning and among the new additions to the age group was Ryan Johansson, his first appearance in an Ireland side since 2018.

The under-21s are set to play 3 friendly games. The first game comes against Switzerland this Sunday, after that they take on Australia the following the Wednesday and the final fixture is being played against Denmark on Saturday.

All fixtures will be televised on Premier Sports/Free Sports with the games against Switzerland and Australia being shown live while the Denmark fixture will be shown in full later in the day.

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