Naturalised Footballers

Naturalised Footballers

There used to be a time when playing for your country really meant something. If you had been born in a particular place, grown up there, or if you had some sort of blood link through parents, grandparents etc, a strong sense of belonging and identity was what drove you to wear the shirt to carry with pride the hopes and expectations of an entire nation.

Contentious IssueNowadays, however, the lure of playing international football, and the perks that come with it suggest that national pride is not what it once was. In the ever changing global climate, it is to be expected that players move around the world looking for clubs to meet their high wage demands, but should they be allowed to represent the country in which they’re playing at international level without having laid down any real roots at all?

Shouldn’t a player have some sort of link to that country, if not through family or birth then to have at least grown up there, as in the case of Polish born German international, Lucas Podolski? This issue has divided nations and caused much debate.

Denying Opportunities?Brazillians, arguably the most naturally talented players on earth, seem to be popping up all over the world plying their trade in, and for, a variety of countries. The fiercely competitive nature of football in Brazil has led many to seek their international football elsewhere, which although completely understandable, is perhaps denying opportunities to others who are maybe more deserving.

FIFA president, Sepp Blatter seems to share this view. At the draw for the 2010 World Cup, he made the following statement:

“If we don’t take care about the invaders from Brazil,” he is quoted on the CNN website as saying, “then at the next World Cups, we will have 16 teams full of Brazilian players. It’s a danger, a real, real danger.”

Brazillians Around The WorldBrazillians have indeed turned out for many different countries. Rio de Janeiro born, Marco Aurelio even changed his name to Mehmet after gaining Turkish nationality in 2006. He has since played for them 26 times. “He [Aurelio] is one of us now,” proclaimed Turkish striker, Hakan Sukur on the Eurasia Net website after Aurelio’s debut, a 1 0 win over Luxembourg in 2006. “Tonight he was the best player on the pitch.”

Not everyone in Turkey feels the same way, however. Football analyst, Kazim Kanat, also speaking on the Eurasia website said: “How would you look at a player who feels nothing for the colours he’s wearing? I’ll tell you what I think: when they play the national anthem at such a match, I won’t even stand up.”

Other countries that have fielded Brazillian born players include: Japan, Togo, Croatia, Portugal, Spain, Qatar, Belgium, Costa Rica, Tunisia, El Salvador, Germany and Poland, The origins of this trend can be traced right back to the 1934 World Cup, when Filo (who, to be fair, had an Italian mother) lifted football’s greatest prize as part of the Italian national team.

Controversy in the Mexican National TeamIn 2006, the then head coach of the Mexican national team, Ricardo La Volpe, an Argentine, caused controversy by picking Argentine born and raised, Guillermo Franco and another foreign born player, Brazillian, Antonio Naelson, better known as “Sinha” ahead of Cuauhtemoc Blanco, considered by many to be one of the greatest Mexican players of all time.

When Sven Goran Eriksson called up four foreign born players, including the two mentioned above, to his Mexico squad three years later, goalkeeper, Guillermo Ochoa spoke out:

“It’s a very delicate situation, there are a lot of Mexicans waiting for a chance in the national team and this makes it more and more difficult for them,” he is quoted as saying on the Daily Mail website. “It’s obvious that the Mexican players should have better opportunities, so I think the matter of the naturalised players needs more analysis. I don’t think I’d like to see 11 naturalised players in the national team.”

ConclusionThere is no denying the benefits of playing international football. The obvious financial gain, as well as getting the chance to play in major tournaments, which can subsequently lead to more exposure, are strong incentives. There is no doubt that a naturally gifted Brazillian born player will also greatly improve the standard of an average team and influence the playing style of those around him.

Many believe, however, that living in a country for just five years (in line with FIFA’s new “five year rule”) does not make a player worthy of inclusion in a team with which he has no previous connections, family or otherwise.

Profile of Real Madrid Goalkeeper

Profile of Real Madrid Goalkeeper

It is unusual for a club to bring through a player they know will serve them with distinction for over a decade.

But Iker Casillas was one of those exceptional youngsters, a goalkeeper of such exceptional ability that he always looked destined to excel the Lionel Messi of goalkeepers, if you will.

Quick Facts:Name: Iker Casillas Fern Nationality: Spanish Date and Place of Birth: May 20, 1981 in Madrid, Spain Position: Goalkeeper Current Club: Real Madrid (La Liga) Previous Clubs: None International Career: 2000 to present

The Early Years: Casillas comes from Madrid’s working class, industrial satellite town of Mostoles and used to take the train to Real Madrid every day from the age of 12.

Outstanding for Real Madrid’s youth team, Casillas was even told at the age of just 16 that he was needed for the Champions League, if only to sit on the bench.

His top flight debut came in the 1998 99 season and he made the jersey his own the following campaign when he contributed to the club’s Champions League success.

Casillas lost his place in the first team to Cesar Sanchez during the 2001 02 season, but was called off the bench to replace Cesar 23 minutes from the end of that season Champions League final. He made several fine saves to keep Bayer Leverkusen at bay and help Real to a record ninth European Cup.

Multiple Titles: Ever modest, Casillas has gone on record as saying that he does not consider himself a galactico.

In a sense, he is right. Galacticos come and go, but Casillas started his career in Madrid, and will almost certainly end it there.

To accompany his two Champions League crowns, Casillas has won five La Liga titles, in 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2012.

Over the years he has regularly been the last line of defense for a club often guilty of stockpiling lavish attacking talent and ignoring deficiencies in the rearguard.

Saves such as the one against Sevilla in October 2009 have characterized his time at the club and saved his side numerous points over league seasons.

International Career: A winner of the FIFA under 20 World Cup in 1999, Casillas made his senior debut the following year.

Just as he benefited from Cesar’s injury to star in the 2002 Champions League final, fate smiled on him again the following month when Valencia goalkeeper Santiago Canizares severed a tendon in bizarre fashion as he tried to control an aftershave bottle at his home. The injury left Casillas as his country’s number one and he was the hero in the second round penalty shoot out against Ireland before Spain bowed out in controversial style against South Korea in the quarter finals.

Casillas has played in three World Cups and three European Championships. Spain are the current holders of both competitions, with Casillas one of the pillars in both successes. Having made his debut at 19 years and 14 days, the boy from Mostoles is now the most capped Spanish player of all time.

The Top Players in the World

The Top Players in the World

Today, Football is one of the best and most popular sports, which is watched and played all over the world. Do you know who the top football players in the world are? Well, below you can find the top football match players who won the heart of many people and became legends at their clubs, countries and all over the world.

Top Ten Football Players of all over the World Include:

Diego Armando Maradona He won the world cup in 1986 and became most popular for his two goals against England in the quarter finals. Maradona contentiously voted the best player of all time. Also, he was the only one performer who set the world record agreement fees twice. Diego Armando is still renowned for his ability of ball control and scoring opportunities.

Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) Pele is from Santos, New York, made his debut in the Brazilian union at the age of 16, and immediately went to become the league’s top scorer, got 36 goals in 29 football matches. At age of 17 Pele was, and is to this very day, the youngest ever World Cup winner.

Johan Cruyff (Johan Hendrikus Cruijff) He was the player of the 1974 Dutch and he had the ability to dribble the ball. Cruyff had a very fast speed in football and he was nine times winner of the Netherlands. Also, he won the European cup thrice with Ajax and was voted European team player in 1999.

Franz Beckenbauer His nickname is “der Kaiser” and he was the stronghold of Bayern Munich’s Cup Winning team of the mid Seventies. In 1974, he captained his country that was in Germany.

Alfredo di Stefano He rewarded as two time European footballer of the year and he guided Real Madrid to five European cups. Also, Alfredo di Stefano won various domestic league and cup victories in 1956 1960.

Ferenc Puskas He was an incredible player of the wonderful Hungarian national team of the early 1950s. They had won Olympic Gold in Helsinki in 1952 and then they arrived at the FIFA world cup in Switzerland.

Garrincha He was most popular for his great dribbling more where he intimidated inside and then swiftly went outside with a fast speed. In 1962, he led Brazil World cup victory.

Zinedine Zidane He was three times FIFA World Player of the Year in 1998. Zinedine was one of the best players of the last decade and also he was the runner up 2006, winner of world cup in 1998.

Ronaldo He was Brazilian footballer and known as one the best football players of all the time. In 2006 world cup match, he scored smartly and turned into a record holder of scoring the top goals at World Cups.

Eusebio He won the European Cup in 1962 and scored two goals in the finals against Madrid. Eusebio scored a total of 733 scores in 745 matches in his career.