Sevilla and Irish U19 midfielder Ryan Johansson will represent Sweden at international level according to the player’s agent Hasan Cetinkaya.
Johansson recently made the move to Spain after two and a half years with Bayern Munich where he had impressed with the U19s as well as featuring in pre-season for the senior team.
The 18-year-old was born in Luxembourg to a Swedish father and a mother who grew up in Mullingar and he is eligible to play for the Boys in Green thanks to his maternal grandparents.
His eligibility was thrown into doubt a few months ago however when he outlined in an interview with Swedish publication expressen.se, that he and the FAI were trying to clarify an issue with his passport with his father explaining that he didn’t have an Irish one when he first represented Luxembourg at underage level.
Johansson and his family had sought legal advice on the case, with the player said to have been keen on representing the Boys in Green.
Speaking in quotes reported by expressen.se on Wednesday, Johansson’s agent outlined that Ireland had pushed for him to represent the Boys in Green but that he will “represent Sweden in the future.
“The first thing I told the family when we were going to work together was: “Is your name Johansson, then there is only one country that you can represent.” And that is what applies. Ryan will represent Sweden in the future.”
“It’s been hard. There has been a lot of pressure from Ireland. They have been very proud that he played in Bayern Munich and the union has been on a lot. Then we have Luxembourg as well, the country he grew up in.
“Their union team was down in Munich a few weeks ago and explained that they wanted to join him in the A-national team for the European Championship qualifier.”
“It has been very sensitive and difficult for him to make this decision. But… I have worked for the best of Swedish football here and that is what Håkan Sjöstrand (secretary general of the union) knows about. I think it has a big part in it being this way, that I work with Ryan.”
Speaking to Pundit Arena last February, before his international future was thrown into doubt, Johansson outlined his reasons behind wanting to represent Ireland.
“I have a lot of family in Sweden and obviously, I grew up in Luxembourg and Luxembourg still is my home, my parents still live there. So it was a tough decision in the end to choose Ireland but I focused on two things.”
“Football wise how Ireland were doing, talking about the youth and how the first team are progressing with the manager change and then secondly it was about how I felt personally, my heart was drawn to Ireland and that’s more of a country where I feel like I am from, I’m Irish.
“I just felt that that really influenced my decision. It was unusual though to have the choice of three different countries.”