Greek-born, Australian-raised striker Apostolos Giannou wants to play for the Socceroos despite representing his birth nation at an international level.
Giannou, who grew up in Melbourne, netted 13 goals for Greek Super League side Asteras Tripoli from 21 appearances this season before moving to China.
He is eligible for Australia due to his single appearance for Greece in 2015 being in an international friendly.
“I want to play for Australia,” Giannou told Fox Sports Australia.
“Australia would be better for me as a footballer and to play for them and give everything that I can and bring the best out of me.”
Giannou this week signed with Chinese Super League side Guangzhou R&F on a three-year deal reportedly worth $1.5 million a year after a strong season for Asteras where he sat second on the Greek league’s goal-scoring table.
Recent Australian success under the tutelage of coach Ange Postecoglou was a pull factor to adorn the green and gold, Giannou admitted.
And he revealed Postecoglou had travelled to Greece to speak to him face-to-face about a potential switch of allegiances – a move which ultimately won the 26-year-old over.
But Giannou said his intention wasn’t to jump on the Socceroos bandwagon without a deep-rooted connection to Australia, highlighting eight appearances with the under-17 national side.
He also attended a Socceroos training camp under former coach Holger Osieck in Germany in 2011.
“It’s difficult to chose which country to play for since I feel the same for both countries,” Giannou said.
“I know Australia has been going upwards since Ange took over.”
“It hasn’t been like I’ve been away and just popped now into the Australia team.”
Australia host Greece in a friendly in June after upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Tajikistan and Jordan next month.