Chile's Charles Aranguiz defends the presence of naturalised foreigners in national team
Santiago, Jan 2 (IANS) Chilean footballer Charles Aranguiz said naturalised foreigners are welcome in the national team, as long as they help bolster the line-up.
Asked about the controversial practice in the lead up to Chile's hosting of the 2015 Copa America, Aranguiz said, "I have no problem with the inclusion of nationalised players. It's an option and if they are going to contribute, then welcome."
"But I also think that in Chile we have tremendous players that could be in the national team," Aranguiz, who plays for Brazilian club Porto Alegre, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Players have been increasingly asked by sports reporters to comment on the practice, as national team managers mull recruiting Argentine-born forward Mauro Zarate, and many have spoken out against it, including Gary Medel, who plays for Milan, Italy's Inter, and Eduardo Vargas, currently playing for England's Queens Park Rangers. Those agreeing with Aranguiz include former Chilean ex-footballer Ivan Zamorano.
Zarate, who plays for English club West Ham, is waiting to hear from Chile's national team coach and fellow Argentine Jorge Sampaoli.