Castro plumps for Germany
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Bayer Leverkusen starlet Gonzalo Castro has pledged his international future to Germany, rather than Spain.
Castro had the choice between the two European powerhouses but has opted to represent the country of his birth.
The 18-year-old was born in Germany to Spanish parents and has been agonising over which national team to play for.
Both countries were keen for the midfielder to make a swift decision and Castro has plumped for Germany.
"It was without doubt the hardest decision of my life," commented Castro.
"But I feel at home in Germany. I learned my football here."
Germany's Under-21 coach Dieter Eilts was anxious for Castro to reach a decision and is delighted he will be playing for the World Cup hosts.
"I am inspired by this decision," said Eilts. "Castro is a great player, who is versatile.
"It speaks for itself that he decided before our qualification game against Czech Republic. This is a clear indication that it is a decision made with the heart."
Castro could now play for Germany in the first leg of their European Under-21 Championship play-off against the Czechs on Friday.