How Michail Antonio scored twice in World Cup qualifying – and returned to West Ham early

Michail Antonio has been in fantastic form for the Hammers this season. So much so that David Sullivan had to fly him home early from the international break.

The Jamaican scored in both of his country’s games against El Salvador and the USA. But that wouldn’t stop the West Ham co-chairman from making sure the forward was back in time for their vital match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

Sky Sports reported that the businessman paid £100,000 to ensure that his striker would have enough time to get himself in the best possible shape for the pivotal fixture. If the London club can secure a draw or a win, then they will – at least temporarily – rise to second in the Premier League table.

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The 31-year-old has been instrumental in West Ham’s success this season. He has scored seven goals in his 13 appearances for the Irons in all competitions.

David Moyes’ side has also been performing strongly in Europe. The Hammers are unbeaten and top of their Europa League group, having secured 10 points from their first four matches.

How Antonio started playing for Jamaica

Antonio proudly represents Jamaica, but in 2016 he nearly gave that opportunity up for the chance to play for the country of his birth, England. He turned the Reggae Boyz down and was consequently called up to the England team by Sam Allardyce. Gareth Southgate then selected him again, but he had to withdraw due to an injury.

As a result of not playing for England on either occasion, the forward was still entitled to play for Jamaica. The Caribbean island nation approached the West Ham star again, and this time they got what they were looking for. Antonio was incredibly excited to play in Jamaica’s 2022 World Cup qualifying games.

The 31-year-old may not get to play in Qatar next year, but he’s still got a vital season to focus on. Antonio is an integral part of the West Ham side bidding to qualify for the Champions League next season. The journey to do just that continues against Wolves this weekend.

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