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The players who have chosen a national team other than the original one

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Coronavirus: Ten positive tests confirmed in ChampionshipFootball is the sport that unites peoples par excellence, from South America to Europe, passing through Africa and Asia: you just need to find a ball (or something very similar) to start a game.

Footballers from all over the world have always moved from team to team to grow sportily and it can be said that this sport breaks down barriers and borders.

Since childhood, all budding players dream of wearing the shirt of their national team one day, representing the nation in which they grew up and becoming legends, not only in front of the eyes of their fans, but also and above all of the whole nation.

However, players born in one place do not always decide to play for the nation they were born in: this is the case of many top players with different nationalities, born and raised in one country but naturalized as citizens of another. More statistics can be found on TLPC.

World champions

This is the case, for example, of the 2006 German World Champion Mauro German Camoranesi: he was born in Tandil, Argentina, but was able to apply for an Italian passport as his grandfather was from the Marche region. In contrast to Bielsa, manager of the Argentina national team at the time, who did not consider him important for his national team, Camoranesi decided to accept the call with Italy, playing his best matches against France and Australia (as reported on

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His is not the only case of players who have accepted the call of the Italian national team, becoming in all respects Italian players. In recent years we remember Franco Vasquez (Argentine) and the quartet of Brazilians formed by Jorginho, Thiago Motta, Eder and Amauri. All of them have exploited their Italian origins to be able to wear the blue national jersey, establishing themselves far from Brazilian football.

The most important national teams in the world have always been able to count on naturalized players. For example Germany for years has relied on Podolski and Klose, two of the strongest footballers of their generation, both born in Poland. In contrast, Kevin Prince Boateng, born in Berlin, chose to wear the Ghanaian shirt, to honor the origins of his parents. Curiously, Boateng’s brother Jerome continued to play for Germany, becoming a fundamental bulwark of the World Champion and European Champion national team.

The “South American” case

A separate case is about South American footballers, who can very often boast Spanish or Portuguese origins. Already the Golden Ball Alfredo Di Stefano, in the late 1940s, had exploited his dual citizenship, to play both with the Argentina and Spain jersey. Another Golden Ball like Deco chose to represent Portugal, the nation where he had consecrated himself as a footballer, and not Brazil, where he was born. Similarly, Pepe, a very strong central of Real Madrid, took the same direction, dressing the Lusitanian t-shirt.

Diego Costa has recently taken advantage of his dual nationality to establish himself definitively as a Spanish player, after having made his debut in two friendlies with the Selecao t-shirt: a decision certainly not well seen by the Carioca supporters and by many purists of football, who attracted the dislikes of many on the attacker.


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