BERLIN, Germany, Feb 7 – Rani Khedira — brother of Germany star Sami — has turned down the chance to play for Tunisia at the 2018 World Cup.
The Khedira brothers were born in Stuttgart to a Tunisian father.
Both Rani, who is 24, and Sami, 30, played for German junior teams while Juventus midfielder Sami went on to become a World Cup winner who has made 72 appearances for Germany.
Rani Khedira is a defensive midfielder with Augsburg, who has made 36 appearances in the Bundesliga.
He was approached to play at the World Cup for Tunisia, who have drawn Belgium, England and Panama in Group G in Russia this June.
“It filled me with pride that the association thought of me,” Khedira told magazine Kicker on Wednesday explaining why he turned down the Tunisian offer.
“I was born and raised in Germany, I only speak German – that was crucial.
“My game is about communication, instructions and tactics, time is too short, it’s too difficult.
“I can not help the team and give my best performance.”
The younger Khedira says he wants to be fair to other players who have earned the chance to represent Tunisia at a World Cup.
“They have worked their asses off for the last two years and I don’t want to take a place away from any of them,” he added.
However, Rani Khedira admitted it was not an easy decision.
“It has been a long process with those in my sphere of influence, my dad is a proud Tunisian, I carry both countries in my heart and wish them the best, but, in the end, it was the right decision,” he said.