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Incredible XI Of Players Who Switched International Allegiance

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Incredible XI Of Players Who Switched International Allegiance

Jamaica are hoping to convince a slew of high-profile players to switch national team allegiance, with the country's football federation already making moves to acquire citizenship for the likes of Michail Antonio, Demarai Gray, Isaac Hayden, Nathan Redmond and Mason Holgate.

The Reggae Boyz could have a low-key impressive side going into the 2022 World Cup and benefit from FIFA's eligibility rules.

But of course it wouldn't be the first instance of players switching national sides. There have been so many examples in the past that we've managed to put together an entire XI of players who have represented more than one nation.

NOTE: We have only included those who have actually played for two or more countries at youth level and above, thus ruling out the likes of Miroslav Klose, Pepe and Lukas Podolski who were all born in one country and played for another.

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GK: Asmir Begovic

We start with Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who moved to Canada when he was 10 years old and represented them at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2007. However, he changed allegiance in 2009 to play for his native Bosnia and Herzegovina and played in the 2014 World Cup.

RB: Taulant Xhaka

Brother to Arsenal midfielder Granit, Taulant Xhaka represented Switzerland at every youth level from U-17's right through to U-21's but chose his Albanian roots and faced his brother in Euro 2016 when Switzerland and Albania were placed in the same group. They became the first pair of brothers to play against one another in European Championship history.

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CB: Neven Subotic

The former Borussia Dortmund man was a regular in the USA U-17 and U-20 sides but opted to play for Serbia and turned out for his country at the 2010 World Cup. He was also eligible to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Image: PA
Image: PA

LB: Faouzi Ghoulam

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The Napoli left-back was born in France to Algerian parents but always maintained that he would represent Algeria as a full international. He played a couple of games for France's U-21 but has otherwise committed to his roots, playing for Algeria at both the 2014 World Cup and African Cup of Nations.

CM: Thiago Motta

Former Barcelona and PSG Thiago Motta was born in Brazil but is also an Italian Citizen. He represented Seleção at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2003 but later went on to play for Italy after being granted FIFA clearance when named in the squad back in 2011 - his Italian links coming from his great grandfather.

The 38-year old was part of Italy's squad for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 European Championships.

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CM: Owen Hargreaves

Owen Hargreaves has an interesting background when it comes to nationalities. The former Manchester United and City midfielder was born in Canada to a English father and Welsh mother and then joined the youth ranks at Bayern Munich at the age of 16.

He played for Wales at the 1998 Milk Cup but then switched allegiance to England and went on to become the only English player to have played for England without actually ever living in the country when he made his debut in 2001.

Image: PA
Image: PA
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CM: Kevin Prince-Boateng

Much like his half-brother Jerome, Kevin Prince-Boateng came through the youth ranks at Hertha Berlin and played for Germany at youth level up until U-21's.

But he wanted to represent his Ghanaian heritage and after acquiring his Ghanaian passport, has played for the Black Stars in three World Cups.

RM: Nacer Chadli

Former Spurs and West Brom winger Nacer Chadli made a single appearance for Morocco at international level in a friendly against Northern Ireland, however a year later he elected to play for Belgium and has been capped 61 times.

Image: PA
Image: PA

LM: James McClean

James McClean was born in Northern Ireland and played for his home country at U21 level on several occasions.

When a full international call up came though, McClean rejected and instead chose to play for Republic of Ireland - a decision that led to him receiving death threats and a whole lot of abuse when he was included in Ireland's Euro 2012 squad.

ST: Diego Costa

One of the most high-profile examples of players changing their allegiance saw Diego Costa play twice for his native Brazil but then apply for Spanish citizenship and don the red shirt of La Roja. He made his Spain debut in 2014 and his since represented his adopted nation at two World Cups.

Brazilians are still not happy that he turned his back on them.

ST: Alfredo Di Stefano

Undoubtedly the most famous scenario of a player playing for more than national team is provided by Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano. Incredibly, he played for Argentina, Colombia and Spain in his international career.

He was born in, and represented Argentina, but then went on to play for Colombia - though his appearances are not recognised by FIFA.

Two countries clearly wasn't enough though, and he was later granted Spanish citizenship, playing for Spain between 1957 and 1961, scoring 23 goals.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Topics: Football, Jamaica, Diego Costa

Josh Lawless
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