Ellyes Skhiri commits his international future to Tunisia

Ellyes Skhiri
Montpellier midfielder Ellyes Skhiri - who was born in France - wants to play for Tunisia at international level.

Montpellier midfielder Ellyes Skhiri has committed his future to Tunisia after talks with the country's football federation (FTF).

The 22-year-old represented the North Africans once at under-23 level, but then made himself unavailable for selection by citing a desire to establish himself as a first-team regular with Montpellier.

Now, Skhiri has confirmed he wants to play for Tunisia and denied reports he was looking to play for France - his country of birth - at senior level.

"I decided to take my time, but I've made my choice and am now ready to honour international call ups," he said at a Montpellier news conference.

"I'm committed to both my club and country. In the past I put my club before an international career to enable me to establish myself at the club.

"I had already been called by the under-19 team and by the Olympic squad, so Tunisia was always on my mind.

"For the senior team, I have had regular contact with them for one or two years, but I wanted to give myself time to make this important choice. Now I'm ready."

Born in France, Skhiri began his career with Montpellier progressing from the youth team before making his league debut in March 2015.

He has scored four goals in 82 appearances, including 28 games in all competitions this season.

Skhiri now hopes to make the Tunisia squad for next month friendly matches against Iran and Costa Rica ahead of this summer's World Cup in Russia.

"For every footballer, it's the ultimate dream. But my commitment to Tunisia is not just about now but on a regular basis." he added.

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