Ryan de Vries: The First Coloured South African to Play for New Zealand’s All Whites FeaturedWritten by Vincent Morris
South African-born football sensation Ryan de Vries is now eligible to play for the New Zealand national team. He relishes the prospects of representing the All Whites in an official Fifa World Cup showpiece.
The 24-year-old left winger who joined Auckland City in 2013 was voted Players’ Player in 2015 and is a top goalscorer. The prolific striker represented his side (Oceania Confederation) in two Club World Cup tournaments in Morocco and Japan where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Barcelona kingpin Lionel Messi and Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
Since he joined Auckland City, they’ve won two New Zealand National League and two Oceania titles. De Vries’ dream debut for the All Whites came in 2015 when he was called up to represent New Zealand in a friendly against South Korea. In doing so he became the first coloured South African to play for the New Zealand national team. His mentor is his father, Keith Senior.
An elated Ryan said: ‘I was born in South Africa in 1991 and immigrated to New Zealand in 2008 and on the playing field mesmerized both the spectators and national selectors and earned my position in the national team.
‘The cherry on the cake will without a doubt be to cement my name on the centre stage against the best in a Fifa World Cup and showcase my immense talent.’
He’s also contemplating entering the Barclays Premier League to emulate stellar performances by South African players like Lucas Radebe (Leeds United defender), Quinton Fortune (Manchester United), Steven Pienaar (Everton, midfielder) and Benni McCarthy (West Ham) who all left a lasting impression.
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