Earlier this week, Arsenal announced midfielder Marcelo Flores had signed his first professional contract with the club.
The agreement had already been revealed by his father a few days earlier. Speaking to the Mexican press, he’d claimed his son had accepted a five-year deal from the Gunners.
Now Ruben Flores has been speaking to the local media again, this time regarding another pending issue in the 17-year-old’s career.
Marcelo was born in Canada, but Ruben and his wife soon moved to England, which was possible due to her heritage. And despite their life abroad, they don’t forget about their roots in Mexico. That’s why the Arsenal player can choose between the three national teams.
Speaking to ESPN, Ruben Flores explained his son’s situation, claiming he should be free to choose which national team to play for.
“Marcelo also has Canadian nationality because he was born in Canada and we have received several calls from the people of Canada because of the interest they have in my son. So far Marcelo hasn’t been called to the Canadian team. They’ve invited him to attend various camps which due to distances and times he didn’t, but they follow him very closely.
“With England he already had a call-up here with the U16 last year and soon the one from Mexico came out and he began to tour with Mexico. It seems that he liked it too, but as you mentioned well, none of my children is tied to anyone until they represent some national team at a higher level.”
The Arsenal youngster has been playing for Mexico’s U16 and U18 levels, and has time to make a final choice before he accepts a call-up for the senior squad. His father says a decision must come from the heart.
“It’s true that he has the possibility to play with several national teams, although he hasn’t yet made a final decision. But if he ever has to choose, the only advice I’d give him is that he has to play for the national team and for the team where he feels the colours.
“That has to come from the heart because you’re going to represent a country, you are going to represent many people, you have to be proud of what you do on the field and of the people for whom you do it, and that is what I try to pass to Marcelo. He has a great responsibility in deciding which team he wants to play, with but it has to come from the heart and he has to feel the colours, because if he doesn’t feel the colours it’s very difficult for him to do things well.
“I believe that here the responsibility lies with Mexico, the people of the Federation and national teams, their role is to convince Marcelo to keep playing with the Mexican national team. So far they’ve been very attentive to my children, they’ve had us in very close communication, we talk to them often, they’ve called him up, they’ve taken them on tours and games.”
In fact, all three of Ruben’s children can choose their national teams. Marcelo’s sisters Silvana and Tatiana, who are also footballers, have both been followed by Mexico as well.
“Silvana has already played the U17 World Cup with Mexico and now the U20 World Cup is coming. In Concacaf these days there are the U17 women’s qualifiers where my daughter Tatiana was also required, so I think that the effort comes from there to here. The only thing we can do is respond to the trust in the call, and to the interest of any team that is interested in us.”