England defender Phil Jagielka has revealed that he could’ve been playing in this summer’s tournament for a different nation: co-hosts Poland. The imposing center back has told reporters that he never felt a close tie to his grandparent’s home nation, but is surely excited to be representing the Three Lions in this summer’s tournament.
“I could have played for Poland but I don’t see myself as Polish,” the Everton man was quoted as saying in the Daily Star. “I was born in England. I speak with an English accent.
“Thankfully I got to play for England. Maybe if I’d been nowhere near the team I might have chosen Poland.
“But I don’t know if I’d have felt comfortable joining up with the squad. I’d have been a bit of a loner, I don’t speak the language or know about the culture.”
Jagielka also gave reporters a glimpse into his family background, explaining his family’s plight to England.
“My grandparents are Polish. They moved over in about 1948, via Africa, and settled in Weaverham. I’ve never been back,” he said.
“The borders have changed since the war and technically where they lived could be part of the Ukraine now.
“My granddad died just before I was born, hence my middle name (Nikodem). My grandma, my babcha, lives in Weaverham now. She’ll be happy to see me go back to Poland.
“My dad speaks Polish but I can only manage the odd hello and goodbye. I’m not telling the England lads that because I don’t want to get stitched up!”
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