Nico Williams: the son of an African family who crossed the desert to give Spain a “jewel”

A meteor on the pitch, the young Nico Williams has had enough of his first two games with La Roja to reach Qatar 2022 and play his first World Cup, in which his brother, Iñaki, will defend Ghana.

Born into a family that left Africa crossing the desert to reach Spain in search of a better life.Nico Williams, 20, is playing his first World Cup after just two months after his debut, being decisive for qualifying for the Final 4 of the Nations League, thanks to the agonizing assist that he put on Morata’s head for the victory over Portugal in Braga.

“He is a wing player where we have two profiles, pure dribblers and wingers where I include him, and another to associate and generate superiority,” explained the Spanish coach, Luis Enrique Martínez, in September.

“The pure winger has to know how to play on the inside and Nico is in that moment of learning and improving, getting closer to scoring,” added Luis Enrique on the occasion of his first call to the young Spanish-Ghanaian, who had already traveled through the lower categories of ‘ la Roja’, making the decision to represent Spain against his brother Iñaki, who will play with Ghana, although they both speak Spanish perfectly and play for Athletic Bilbaoa team that only contracts players with Spanish nationality and Basque descent.

feuding family

The youngest of the Williams lives a sweet moment both in his Athletic, where he has won a starting position, and in the national team, where he seems to have received the approval of the selector. The young winger has been able to impress a coach, that he prefers to be guided by what he sees, rather than by the route in the club.

Against Portugal, in September, it took Nico 17 minutes to make the difference and cause the goal that gave Spain a place in the next final four of the Nations League. Nico follows the path traced by his older brother, Iñaki, who made his debut for Spain in a friendly match against Bosnia (3-1) in May 2015, but who has finally chosen to play with Ghana, the country from which his parents in search of a better life, without expecting that years later they would see their two sons summoned for the World Cup.

Nico Williams during the match between Spain and Costa Rica – Photo: REUTERS

Nico and Iñaki are the first brothers to play in a World Cup for different countries since they did it in 2014 in Brazil, Jerome and Kevin-Prince Boateng. While the former defended the German jersey and would end up becoming world champion, Kevin-Prince played with Ghana, just like Iñaki did in Qatar.

The African country also offered to Nico, but he preferred to wear the Spanish shield that he already defended this Wednesday against Costa Rica. “HThere were a couple of conversations, but it was always clear to me that I wanted to be here and the opportunity has given itself”, commented the winger in conversation with the AFP.

“The truth is that we could never imagine that we would reach this level of football, two brothers playing in the same club, each one in a national team and in a World Cup, I think that this situation rarely occurs in life and my family is very happy and proud that we are here,” she added.

Nico does not rule out the fact of meeting his brother in the knockout stages, something that can be given depending on the position of both teams. “Facing me, especially the one from Ghana, because of that sibling rivalry. We have always had those spikes in the park when we were little and hopefully we can do it at a professional level ”, he declared.

With information from AFP.

Nico Williams: the son of an African family who crossed the desert to give Spain a “jewel”