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Is naturalising players for internationals a good idea?

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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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