Jack Grealish broke Irish hearts many moons ago when he confirmed that he was looking to make it in the English setup.
The Aston Villa midfielder had played underage with Ireland but was included in the English U-21 set up after impressing in the middle of the park for the midlands outfit.
The same is now happening with West Ham international, Declan Rice. Born in London, Rice is of Irish descent.
One of his grandfathers is from Dublin, the other from Galway and one of his grandmother’s is a proud Kerry woman.
Rice has played with the Republic of Ireland since U-16 but strikes like this have caught the attention of English fans and management alike…
???? Happy Birthday Declan Rice ????
A nice little early bday present on the weekend as he bagged his first goal for ⚒️ pic.twitter.com/rbKSlzQuCh
— The Football Ramble (@FootballRamble) January 14, 2019
As late as November, Rice was still unsure about whether he would be donning an Irish shirt or that of the Three Lions.
He met with Mick McCarthy before Christmas who told him that he had the potential to be a future Irish captain.
However, his future is still up in the air. 14th of January is his birthday and the FAI cheekily sent out this tweet wishing a HB to the “Irish International.”
— FAIreland ⚽️???????? (@FAIreland) January 14, 2019
No doubt from the FAI as to what side of the fence he stands on. But while they were busy trying to rile up English fans, they forgot to say a Happy Birthday to one of Ireland’s greatest players in recent years…
Happy bday @_DeclanRice and Robbie Brady ????????
— Jeff Hendrick (@JeffHendrick92) January 14, 2019
You score a goal against the Italians to send your country through to the Quarter Finals of a major tournament and for what? We hope Brady gets a big birthday cake from Delaney and co.