Manchester United star Danny Welbeck ‘delighted’ to join England Euro 2012 squad instead of Ghana

By Dean Wilkins

Manchester United star Danny Welbeck is happy to be playing for England at Euro 2012 after turning down the chance to represent Ghana.

The Manchester-born striker scored his first international goal against Belgium in England’s 1-0 victory on Saturday and believes it is part of his natural progression.

Roy Hodgson showed faith in the 21-year-old who had a successful season partnering United and Three Lions teammate Wayne Rooney.

Welbeck said: “[The chance to play for Ghana] was basically when I was 14. But I’d been playing for England at Under-16s so felt it was a natural progression to move up into the senior squad.

“I played for England at Under-16s, 17s, 18s, 19s, 21s and it was so natural for me to make that move into the senior squad and I was delighted when I did that.

“Now to get that first goal for England is something I’ve been looking forward to since I was a little kid.

“I’m looking to build on that and get more goals under my belt and more caps as well.”

Welbeck recovered from an ankle injury sustained while playing in the Manchester derby and described his relief at overcoming the obstacle.

He said: “At times I was thinking ‘maybe I won’t be able to make it’ but I’m glad the manager kept faith in me and I was always ready to go once I was called upon.

“When I suffered the injury against City, I did initially fear the worst. That night I went home and all sorts of emotions went through my head.

“I didn’t know what was happening until I had the scan in the morning. At that point, it was very down-heartening but luckily I’ve come back from that and it wasn’t as bad as I first feared.”

Welbeck played 55 minutes in England’s final warm-up game before they play France on June 11 and the forward is confident he will prove his fitness in time.

He said: “The match fitness is definitely coming along. I’ve had a few training sessions under my belt and had 55 minutes against Belgium.

“It’s coming along and I’m just really looking forward to building on that before the first game next week.”

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