5 players who could switch allegiance and play for Spain
5 players who could change their mind and play for Spain...
La Furia Roja or the Red Fury as the Spanish national team are known have a long history of fielding players that are not fully Spanish play for them.
Back in the early 40s-70s, players could switch nationality hence quite a number of Spanish based superstars; Real Madrid icons Ferenc Puskás and Alfredo Di Stéfano and FC Barcelona’s greatest ever player; László Kubala (as voted for by Cules during the club’s centenary in 1999) played for their Spanish hosts.
Puskás played majorly for his native nation; Hungary, Di Stéfano represented Argentina, Colombia and Spain but Kubala who represented three countries; Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Spain played his most international games for Spain winning 19 caps and scoring 11 goals.
Following FIFA’s tightening up of the eligibility rules in the 1960s, Spain has continued to recruit foreign-born players or players who do not have Spanish ancestry to play for the team.
Brazilian-born Marcos Senna was the midfield lynchpin for the team when they won Euro 2008 while Thiago Alcantara, Diego Costa and Rodrigo Moreno currently play for the team despite their Brazilian heritage.
#5 Willian José (Brazil)
There have been rumblings from the Real Sociedad’s strikers camp regarding a call-up following the player’s year on year improvements since he arrived in Spain.
After playing just one senior game for Real Madrid where he went to after leaving his native Brazil, Willian did well at Las Palmas, performances which convinced La Real’s board to snap him up from the Canary Islands side.
He scored 12 goals in 28 games last season forming a very good partnership with Mexican Carlos Vela but ever since the Mexican’s departure, Willian has had to step up and prove himself.
A strong and powerful centre-forward capable of creating chances for midfielders to run onto, he has expressed his frustrations at constantly being overlooked by Brazilian national team coach Tite for selection
It has been reported in the Spanish media that his representatives have made overtures to the Royal Spanish Football Federation (Spanish FA) and have begun preparation for making the switch as he is almost eligible for a Spanish passport.
He has already scored 8 goals in 17 La Liga & Europa League matches so far and would represent good competition for the two players currently ahead on the queue; Diego Costa (himself a naturalised Spaniard) and Alvaro Morata.