1-Real Madrid legend Raul actually played for city rivals Atletico Madrid at youth level.
However, after Controversial President Jesus Gil dismantled Atletico’s youth teams, Raul joined Real Madrid instead.
Photo from: Onze-Mondial, April 1999(Raul in action for Spain, March 27, 1999, EC Qualifier, Spain 9-Austria 0)
2- Following West Germany’s Friendly match vs. Brazil on May 19, 1981 (lost 1-2), Stuttgart’s Hansi Muller had organized a party for the entire squad.
West Germany’s Barcelona star Bend Schuster did not attend the celebration.
West German manager Juup Derwall Schuster became angry with him for not attending the party.
Schuster claimed he had informed Harald Schumacher that he could not attend since he had to take an early flight back to Barcelona.
Derwall was so incensed that he did not select him for West Germany’s next match.
A few months later, in an interview, Schuster accused Breitner and Rummenigge of running the team.
This led to his indefinite suspension from the team.
Bernd Dietz also questioned the inclusion of Breitner, since it was alleged by Dietz that Breitner would bring disharmony within the squad.
Derwall dropped Dietz from the squad, ending his international career.
Photo From: Mondial, October 1981(Bayern and Germany’s stars; Breitner and Rummenigge)
Photo From: Mondial, October 1981
(Barcelona and Germany star Bernd Schuster)
3- For Portugal’s Friendly match vs. West Germany in February 1983, leading Portuguese clubs Benfica, Porto and Sporting omitted majority of their selected players due to dubious ‘injuries.’
Of the original selected players 11 were ruled out by such ‘injuries’.
Benfica players: Pietra, Carlos Manuel, Bastos Lopes, Chalana, Coelho and Carlos Pareira.
Sporting players: Oliveira, Virgilio and Mario Jorge
Porto players: Frasco, Maghalaes
Benfica only authorized their goalkeeper Bento for this match.
The reason for the withdrawals was believed to be both Benfica and Sporting’s concerns due to their involvement in the European Cups.
Portugal Manager Otto Gloria tendered his resignation in anger, which was rejected. Instead the federation picked the remaining players.
Gloria was quoted as saying “how can I work in such a madhouse?”
4- Italians Fabrizio Ravanelli and Roberto Di Matteo were the first players ever to represent Italy while playing for foreign clubs on October 5, 1996 vs. Moldova in a World Cup Qualifier.
They both had joined the English Premier League clubs of Middlebrough and Chelsea respectively in the fall of 1996 following the Bosman ruling.
The year before Italian striker Andrea Silenzi, who earned a cap in 1994, had been the first Italian to join the English Premier League.
Photo from: Onze-Mondial, December 1997(Roberto Di Matteo, November 15, 1997, World Cup Qualifier, Italy 1-Russia 0)
Photo from: Planete Foot, April 1996(Fabrizio Ravanelli, November 15, 1995, EC Qualifier, Italy 4-Lithuania 0)
5-In early 1990, Argentina in its preparations to defend the World Cup title was going through a goalscoring drought as no natural and consistent goalscorers could be found for the national team. In vain, Manager Carlos Bilardo persuaded Jorge Valdano, who had retired almost three years before due to Hepatitis, to come out of retirement as a free agent.He played a few friendlies but had to give up and retire altogether.
Photo from: Onze-Mondial, May 1990(Jorge Valdano, June 10, 1986, World Cup, Argentina 2-Bulgaria 0)