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24th Jun 2024

Thierry Henry confirms country Michael Olise has opted to play for at international level

Harry Warner

Olise France/Palace

He’s eligible to play for four nations

Thierry Henry has confirmed which country Crystal Palace star Michael Olise has opted to represent internationally after plenty of speculation.

Speaking at a press conference, Thierry Henry confirmed that Olise, who has recently agreed to join Bayern Munich, will play for France.

This comes after Henry called up the 22-year-old to his France Olympics squad ahead of the Paris games starting 26 July.

“We know that he has plenty of possibilities but he wants to play for France. You have to highlight his desire to show that he wants to play for the French team.

“If he was English, he would have already left to play for England. He could have made the other choice and played the Euros with the England team, like his team-mate Eberechi Eze at Crystal Palace but he wants to play for France, knowing that he wouldn’t play in the Euros.”

Olise was born in Hammersmith, in London, to a Nigerian father and a French-Algerian mother, making him eligible to represent four nations.

After Didier Deschamps decided to leave the Bayern-bound attacker out of his France Euro 2024 squad, England manager Gareth Southgate confirmed that the FA were monitoring the player.

International representation at the highest level can often be a murky place, with many FIFA rules creating obstacles and caveats for players with multiple nationalities.

Often many players will represent one nation at youth level, but will ultimately move onto another country at senior level depending on circumstances.

Declan Rice played at senior level for the Republic of Ireland, however met enough of the criteria to allow him to swap his allegiance to England.

Meanwhile Ivan Rakitic played for Switzerland at youth level for five years before switching to Croatia.

This said, Michael Olise has already played nine games at youth level for France since the under-18s and, with Henry’s comments, it is clear he will remain loyal to Les Bleus.

Olise has had a breakout two years, getting 16 goal contributions in 19 games last season in the Premier League.

The attacker will join Bayern Munich this summer for a reported £50m.

Meanwhile Crystal Palace teammate Eberechi Eze is also the centre of intense transfer speculation, as Arsenal have recently been linked with the 25-year-old attacker valued at £60m.