Saturday, May 28, 2016

Oriundis and Other Naturalized Internationals, Part Five

1- Goran Vidovic-Bosnia-Herzegovina and Belgium 1997/99
Goran Vidovic was a Bosnian-born defender, who left his homeland at the outbreak of the civil war and ended up at Belgian club Mouscron in 1995 under Georges Leekens.
When Leekens became the National Team Manager of Belgium in 1997, he offered a place for Goran Vidovic (who had obtained citizenship).
He was part of Belgium’s 1998 World Cup squad.

Photo From: Panini 1998
(Goran Vidovic)

2- Donato Gama-Brazil and Spain, 1995/96
Brazilian-born midfielder Donato joined Jesus Gil’s Atletico Madrid in 1988 and then joined ambitious Deportivo La Coruna in 1993.
His fine form and the fact that he was uncapped by Brazil, brought him to the attention of Javier Clemente who selected him for Spain from 1995 and was part of the 1996 UEFA Euros squad.

Photo From: Don Balon, Issue 1006, January 23-29, 1995
(Donato, January 18, 1995, Spain 2-Uruguay 2)

3- Raul Amarilla-Paraguay and Spain, 1982/83
Paraguay-born Raul Amarilla joined the Spanish La Liga in 1980 and had a successful spell in Real Zaragoza (also had a spell in Barcelona).
He was selected for the Under-21 Spanish team while at Zaragoza.
Towards the tail end of his career, in the early 90s, he was performing well for Olimpia Asuncion. There were some speculation that he would surely have been selected by his country, had he not been ineligible, since he had already represented Spain in u-21 level.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 23, December 1990
(Raul Amarilla at Olimpia Asuncion)

4- Juan Schiaffino-Uruguay and Italy, 1950s
1950 World Cup winner Juan Schiaffino joined the Italian Serie A and AC Milan in 1954.
Due to his excellent form, he obtained Italian citizenship and played for the Italian national team, like his compatriot Alcides Ghiggia.

Photo From:  World Soccer, May 1999
(Juan Schiaffino)

5- Deco-Brazil and Portugal, 2003/10
When former Brazil National Team Manager Luis Felipe Scolari took charge of Portugal in 2003, he convinced his uncapped compatriot Deco (who had obtained Portuguese citizenship) to become a Portugal International.
He became a fixture of the National Team set up until 2010 and played in two World Cups.
Incidentally, his International debut was against Brazil and he scored Portugal’s winning goal.

Photo From:  World Soccer, December 2008
(Deco and Luiz Felipe Scoalri at Chelsea, 2008/09)

No comments:

Post a Comment