By Dominic Vieira, writing from Portugal
Playing at a World Cup is the pinnacle of any footballer’s career and they’re all desperate to play in them. Many footballers possess dual nationality which is granted through their parents or the country they are born in. This enables them to represent another country; this is very common amongst French footballers. The other way players can acquire another passport is by spending more then 6 years in one country, this is the case with several Brazilian players. Key note: players can represent one country at youth level and still play for another at top level.
At the World Cup there is a group of players who were not born in the country they’re represent, some don’t even have parents from that country. Is this right? Are they making the right decision? And most importantly, who’s anthem will they sing?
I managed to put together the strongest XI players who were not born in the country they represent.
Steve Mandanda (France) - Born in Kinshasa, DR Congo. The Mandanda family moved to France at an early age. He represented France at under 21 level and went on to making his debut for them. Despite being offered the chance to play for DR Congo where his younger brother plays, Steve Mandanda wanted to defend the French goal.
Guy Demel (Ivory Coast) - Born in Orsay, France; Demel has spent the majority of his career playing in Germany. In 2004 he opted to represent Ivory Coast and soon made his first appearance for the country. He will be playing at his second World Cup and will be singing the anthem.