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England starlet will not shun Malta shirt

Samuel John Magri is fast making a name for himself as one of England’s top quality defenders. His excellent displays for England U-16 and Under-17 in the last 18 months attest to the high profile the youngster is currently enjoying.

He made his debut for England U-16 side in October 2009 and was captain of the squad. Since then he has grown in stature and is certainly being tipped to be a class act on the international stage.

Magri is of Maltese stock after his paternal grandfather settled in England years ago. He started playing football when he was seven after which he joined the Portsmouth FC Youth Academy.

The player’s promise and resultant popularity after being picked for the England youth team in these last years has been attracting interest from different quarters.

He boasts he is a Portsmouth product but Magri also takes pride in saying that his origins stem from the Mediterranean island.

Referring to his future football career Magri was quoted as saying that his objective is to play for the club that groomed him, at the same time trying to retain his place in the England set-up.

Asked whether he would consider wearing a Malta shirt the central defender did not mince words, stressing that although his priority is to turn out for England, he will consider donning the Maltese colours if the opportunity arise.

Regarding his Maltese origin, a Eurosport commentator said some days ago that Magri is fully qualified to represent Malta if later on he is not selected as a full England international.

Magri was a member of the England side that reached the European U-17 Championship semi-final in May before being beaten 1-0 by Holland, who then went on thrash Germany 5-2 in the final.

He was an ever-present in that tournament and currently also a member of the England team taking part in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico where they have topped Group C to qualify for the next stage of the competition.

Reports say that in all these matches he was equally adept at defending as well as moving forward with the ball before serving his team-mates.

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