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5 current Premier League players who represent smaller countries

taavi.pailk
ANALYST
Modified 06 Dec 2017
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#4 Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspurs & Kenya)

Victor Wanyama is the biggest name out of Kenyan football in a very long time
Victor Wanyama is the biggest name out of Kenyan football in a very long time

Victor Wanyama also plays at a top club and is a well-known player, but he represents a country very far from the top level in football.

Kenya is best known for its long-distance runners. The nation has won 31 Olympic gold medals, most of which have come from long-distance races.

Wanyama probably also could've been quite successful as a runner as he has a great work rate, but he ended up choosing football. He went to a high school that had a successful football team and that set him up for a good career in the sport.

The 26-year-old defensive midfielder went to Europe in 2007 to play for Swedish side Helsingborg and it didn't take long before he was playing in the Champions League. After signing for Celtic, Wanyama became the first Kenyan to score in the Champions League in 2012.

After a good spell in Celtic, Wanyama was snapped up by Southampton and he later signed with Tottenham in 2016.

Kenyan football as a whole hasn't had any kind of success, though. They are currently 111th in the FIFA rankings and haven't even made it past Round 1 in the African Cup of Nations. They last qualified for the tournament in 2004.

However, Wanyama and his brother McDonald Mariga, who played for Inter a while ago, are giving hope to local youngsters that if you're good enough then it doesn't matter which country you represent.

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Published 06 Dec 2017
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