MX23RW : Monday, December 17 01:10:41

Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla undecided on international future

Barcelona B attacker Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla is undecided whether he will represent Ivory Coast or Canada at international level.

Barcelona B attacker Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla is yet to decide whether he will represent Ivory Coast or Canada at international level.

The 18-year-old became the youngest ever player to feature for Montreal Impact last year, and went on to make 21 first-team appearances for the MLS club before completing a move to Barcelona in January.

Tabla was born in Ivory Coast, but also qualifies for Canada having moved there at the age of eight.

The teenager has suggested that he is leaning towards the country of his birth, but has not ruled out turning out for Canada.

"It's difficult because Didier (Drogba, a former Ivory Coast international) is so big for my country," Ballou told ESPN. "All my family and all my friends support him. He's like the president of Ivory Coast, you know.

"It's a big decision for me. I am proud when I hear about him, when people talk about him, because when people talk about him they talk about Ivory Coast.

"But now I just want to have fun, play and, when the moment comes to take the decision, it will come. But Didier tells me to not stress about it, just to focus on playing.

"I don't think he was that young when he started playing with the national team - he was maybe 24, 25 - so you just have to focus on your club, enjoy the experience and the time with the national team will come. There's no rush."

Tabla has made seven appearances for Barcelona B since arriving at the club.


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