Dual-nationality. Dual-Citizenship, Multiple choices to pick nationality – The terms differ and may have numerous meanings and consequences for an ordinary individual but for a footballer it means a lot more. A lot more pressure to choose among the multiple options to pick from.
Here’s a list of players who faced a similar predicament in choosing which country should they represent at the International level. So have a look at the top-5 high profile players who could’ve played for some other country than they did for.
1. Adnan Januzaj –
Januzaj was born in Belgium and also lived there until he was 16, so he was fully eligible to play for Belgium. He was born to Kosovar-Albanian parents, so he could also have picked to represent Albania, or even Serbia due to the disputed status over his parents’ homeland of Kosovo. England was also one of the options that people expected Januzaj to pick to play since he was eligible for it but eventually Januzaj decided to pick Belgium as his preferred nation to play for.
2. Patrick Vieira –
Vieira was actually born in Dakar which is a city from the African nation Senegal. Having moved to France when he was eight years old, Vieira opened up the possibility of representing France, coupled with the fact his grandfather served in the French army. Vieira eventually played for France and even won a World Cup and an Euro 2000 title with the Les Blues.
3. Miroslav Klose –
The highest goal scorer In World Cup history, Miroslav Klose, was born in the Polish city of Opole to Polish parents. At the age of eight, Miroslav decided to join his father in Germany, where he held German nationality, hence making him eligible to play for the Germans. As it turned out Klose made the right choice and has had one of the best International careers ever.
4. Marcel Desailly –
Another French name to make the list is that of Patrick Vieira’s World Cup winning teammate Marcel Desailly. He would go on to play 116 times for the French national side. He was born in Accra, Ghana. His mother married the head of the French consulate in the city of his birth, and he headed to France at the age of just four. Desailly, later in an interview, told everyone that France was the only country he ever wanted to play for.
5. Alfredo Di Stefano –
Arguably the most talented player to feature in this list, Alfredo Di Stefano though Argentine, had to play for Columbia as a result of a footballing strike in 1949. On moving to Spain, one of the only four players who scored 200 goals for Real Madrid, when he gained Spanish citizenship in 1956, the Spanish quickly drafted him into the national side. Though the Spanish side back then wasn’t as good as the present bunch, Di Stefano ended his career being one of the most talented footballers to never play the World Cup.