Is naturalising players for internationals a good idea?

September 3, 2009

Brazil-born Juventus striker Amauri failed to get an Italian passport in time for Italy’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Bulgaria but he hopes the documentation will come through soon.Azzurri coach Marcello Lippi has indicated he will then consider Amauri for international duty but said he did not want the situation to be repeated.This seems to have ended any chance of Inter Milan midfielder Thiago Motta following Amauri’s lead. The former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid player could qualify for Italy if FIFA decided his two Brazil appearances in the CONCACAF Gold Cup did not count as full caps because it was a under-23 team.After Diego’s classy brace in his second game for Juventus, many Italians became excited when they realised the playmaker has Italian lineage. However, they forgot the basic rule that Diego had played competitively for Brazil and therefore was not eligible for Italy.Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva plays for Croatia despite being born in Brazil while the London club’s uncapped Spanish goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has often been talked about as a potential England candidate.Is the situation out of hand? I’m just old enough to remember when domestic clubs had a majority of players from the local town. Now few top sides have players from the same country.Is international football going the same way? Why not have Premier League v Serie A rather than England v Italy?Liverpool’s Alberto Aquilani and Andrea Dossena may feel a bit torn.PHOTO: Juventus forward Amauri warms up during a training session at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin March 9, 2009.REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi


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Interesting Topic that will take alot of explaining!Here are two examples below.* Ryan Giggs. Born in Cardiff he played for England at schoolboy level then went on to play for Wales at Full International Level?* How about Alfredo di Stefano. He played for Argentina in (1947, Colombia in (1951 and 1952), then he played for Spain for these years(1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959!!Confused? Me too!

Posted by jonny on the ball | Report as abusive

I am glad someone has rasied this issue at last. Yes, it’s getting completely out of hand and I think FIFA’s rules don’t go nearly as far as they should to stop this trend. Players should not be alowed to play for adopted countries unless they present clear and irrefutable evidence that they have recent ancestry (second or third generation should be the threshold) in a particular country, meaning that great grandfathers shouldn’t count either. Otherwise, the thin line between international and club football will vanish in thin air and sonner rather than later, the World Cup will boil down to a month-long Champions League replica. As it stands, national pride and identity is the only thing stopping second and third-tier soccer nations from fielding 11 Brazilians.

Posted by Zoran | Report as abusive

and Mauro Camoranesi who was part of Italy world cup winning squad is a n Argentinian !!!

Posted by AR | Report as abusive

In 2006, Spain ‘adopted’ Brazil-born midfielder Marcos Senna and Argentina-born full back Mariano Pernia.Luis Aragones took Pernia to the 2006 World Cup but after 11 caps he dropped out of the reckoning.On the plus side, Senna was a vital member of Spain’s Euro 2008 winning team and at 33 has already won 24 caps.Personally, I think it is wrong, but as someone who was born in Canada and brought up in England I would consider myself English. It ain’t easy….

Posted by Mark Elkington | Report as abusive

Mark, players with ancentry akin to yours should naturally have the choice of picking either of the two countries they are perfectly entitled to call home. The points is, they shouldn’t be able to pick a third, Tunisia for instance, if they are not good enough to play for their own country. Nor should they be allowed to play for one country at the under-18, much less at the under-23 level, and then for another at senior level. It turns national identity into a mockery.

Posted by Zoran | Report as abusive

[…] Source add it: Tags: alberto aquilani, alessandro bianchi, amauri, Andrea Dossena, Atletico, atletico madrid, Barcelona, brazil, bulgaria, coach marcello lippi, concacaf gold cup, croatia, Diego, dossena, Eduardo da, eduardo da silva, England, Georgia, inter milan, international football, italian passport, Italy, Liverpool, london, london club, MADRID, Manuel Almunia, photo juventus, playmaker, premier league, reuters, second game, stadio olimpico, Thiago Motta, turin, world cup qualifiers […]

Posted by Is naturalising players for internationals a good idea? – Posted In Serie A | Soccer News Info – Soccer News Info | Report as abusive

Well in that case the majority of the French national team should not play for France because they were neither born in France or don’t have a Frnech background.If you are born in another country but your parents are of anpther ethnic background then you should be able to chose to play for your ancestoral country. Nobody gets to choose where they are born so why should they be forced to play for a country when they are of another ethnicity.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

I think it’s totall unacceptable to naturalise a player just to play for the international sport team. The international sport competition isn’t about business and winning only, it’s about international cooperation and harmony. Why bother naturalising more talent players into your country when you can give that a chance of others. Besides, there are plenty more talented young players in your country, you just too lazy to look and train them.I think naturalising should be banned from international competition or else it’ll become commercial, selling brilliant players.

Posted by Raj Alkul | Report as abusive

Wasn’t there an Italian World Cup winner in 2006 who was born in Manchester? I forget his name now. But, you only have to look at the England cricket team to realise you don’t need to born in a country to represent it. Off the top of my head I can think of Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Strauss, Jonathan Trott, Nasser Hussain, Adam & Ben Hollioake, Andrew Caddick, Alan Lamb, none of them were born in England. There’s many many more in recent times too. Whether thats a good thing or not i’m not too sure. I suppose the argument is that if it’s ok for cricket why isn’t ok for football?

Posted by Dan United | Report as abusive

Dan, are you referring to AS Roma’s Simone Perrotta? I still remembered back in the build-up to the final in Berlin, one of the newspapers in my country mentioned something along the line that technically, there is an Englishman in the final. Anyhow, I remembered once reading somewhere that Perrotta was quite young when his family moved back to Italy.

Posted by diana | Report as abusive