11

Diego Costa is making his debut for Spain tonight and he will almost certainly go to Brazil as their main striker considering his form this year. You could imagine the reception he would get playing over there but if he lined up vs Brazil or even scored against them then I'm not sure he could ever go back!

Does anyone know of any cases where nationalised players have played or even scored against their country of birth?

  • 1
    I like this question. The first person that came to mind was Kevin-Prince Boateng, but it turns out he has never scored against Germany (his country of birth), I'm positive that he has played against Germany though (they made a big deal out of the whole Jérôme vs Kevin "saga"). I think this would be simple to answer if someone is able to find a list of players who have decided to play for a National team that is not their C.o.B -- then we can just look at their international goals and see if any came against their C.o.B. – Nicholas V. Mar 5 '14 at 17:49
11

This Footytube forum discussion mentions several players (most French) from other countries: Zidane (Algeria), Desailly (Ghana), Vieira (Senegal), that went on to not play for their country of birth. The decision by Algeria to not accept Zidane because he was too slow sure turned out to be a poor decision, 'eh?

One other that comes to mind is Dani Osvaldo, who plays for Italy but was born in Argentina (a common relationship for the two countries).

The aforementioned Kevin-Prince (Germany) plays for Ghana and played against Germany.

Unfortunately, none of these players have scored against their countries of birth as far as I can see scanning their International Goals, but the chances are high that each played against their country of birth (all three French players have many, many caps for Les Bleus)

Players who play against their national team:

David Trezeguet (Argentina): at least played a game against Argentine (playing for france).

Guillermo Franco (Argentina): Plays for Mexico, and plays at least two times against argentina. One he didn't enter the field, and the other he enter as a substitute. The two matches where on world cup (2006 and 2010)

Player who didn't play against his national team:

Alfredo Di Stefano (Argentina): I can't find any reference if he plays a match vs Argentina when he was playing for Spain.

Camoranesi (Argentina): didn't play against Argentina, when he was playing for Italy.

After looking at this list of players who have switched nationalities in football I saw that Mathias Fernadez represented Chile despite being Argentinian. In a game in 2011 he scored vs Argentina. He does however consider himself Chilean having left Argentina aged 4.

  • Actually now that I see the names I remember Viera playing against Senegal in 2002 and I'm pretty sure that Zidane played a friendly vs Algeria. – RoB Mar 6 '14 at 9:01
  • alfredo di stefano comes to mi mind, but I can't find any reference if he plays a match vs Argentina when he was playing for Spain. David trezeguet at least played against Argentine (playing for france). Camoranesi (playing for Italy) didn't play against Argentine. – gbianchi Mar 6 '14 at 13:48
  • Adding one more. Guillermo Franco Plays for Mexico, and plays at least two times against argentina. One he didn't enter the field, and the other he enter as a substitute. – gbianchi Mar 6 '14 at 14:06
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    This is now a community wiki -- we can just compile a good list of players who played against their country of birth for a different National Team, we're already well on our way. Thanks @gbianchi – Nicholas V. Mar 6 '14 at 14:23
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    I found a list of players who have switched nationalities and just looking at the list I can see a few names that would have played against their home country, can't think of any that would have scored without more research en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nationality_transfers_in_sport – RoB Mar 6 '14 at 14:34
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Germany's has this tradition of having few players from Austria and Poland(Klose and Podolski).

During the famous Euro 2008 match between Germany and Poland, Lukas Podalski scored both of Germany goals with one of them assisted by fellow striker, Klose.As a respect for his native country Podalski didn't celebrate the goal and also later told that it was emotional to score against his country.

4

After looking at this list of players who have switched nationalities in football I saw that Mathias Fernadez represented Chile despite being Argentinian. In a game in 2011 he scored vs Argentina. He does however consider himself Chilean having left Argentina aged 4.

3

There are quite a few actually; practically every game between Turkey and Germany have had some player "upsetting" one side. Examples:

  • 07.10.2011 Turkish left-back Hakan Balta scored the only goal for Turkey, as the home team lost 3-1. He's born in W. Berlin.

  • 08.10.2005 International friendly game where Turkey won 2-1, goals scored by H. Altintop and N. Sahin, both born and raised in Germany.

  • Similarly M. Özil scored against Turkey in multiple games; even though he's not born in Turkey his parents are both Turkish, and he has on several occasions expressed having a Turkish identity.

If we continue with Germany, more recent players were L. Podolski and M. Klose, who have played against Poland. The duo scored a goal in Euro 2008 and chose not to celebrate it (Podi actually scored both goals, Klose assisted one of them).

2

In the game between Albania and Switzerland in 2011, X. Shaqiri scored the opening goal. I'm not sure if it counts though, as he's born in Kosovo, but he is ethnically speaking a "Kosovo-Albanian" (not sure if it's called that in English, sorry).

In the end, Switzerland won with two goals to one. Interestingly, almost all players on the pitch were born in Kosovo or Albania, so it was basically a derby!

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