7 Footballers Who Represented Two National Teams

Wilfried Zaha of the Ivory Coast makes his way out for the second half during the International Friendly match between the Ivory Coast and Senegal at the Stade Charlety on March 27, 2017...

Former Juventus, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona and Hull City players all feature.

Wilfried Zaha of the Ivory Coast makes his way out for the second half during the International Friendly match between the Ivory Coast and Senegal at the Stade Charlety on March 27, 2017...Wilfried Zaha has represented both England and the Ivory Coast

At the end of last week, reports began circulating that Tammy Abraham was going to switch allegiances from England to Nigeria, suggestions that the on-loan Swansea City striker was quick to deny. Players switching allegiances after only playing for a countries youth sides isn't particularly rare, but full caps for multiple national teams doesn't happen very often in the modern game.

Prior to the 1960's, when FIFA implemented significantly stricter regulations, some of the world's greatest players played for more than one country. Ferenc Puskas played for Hungary and Spain, Alfredo di Stefano played for Argentina, Colombia and Spain, and Luis Monti even played in a World Cup final for both Argentina and Italy!

For that reason, this seven is restricted only to players who have represented multiple countries since the year of 1970, and we've also omitted players who played for territories that then ceased to exist, such as representing the Soviet Union and then Ukraine, Yugoslavia and then Macedonia or West Germany and then the united Germany. Here are 7 footballers who played for two countries:

7. Alex Bruce

Despite being the long-time Manchester United captain and a serial winner during his playing days, Steve Bruce never won a cap for England. His son Alex then probably knew his chances with the Three Lions weren't too great, and he began representing the Republic of Ireland aged 23, whilst playing for Ipswich Town. He won 2 caps for the Republic, both in friendlies, before being granted permission to switch allegiances to Northern Ireland in 2013, with whom he has also won 2 caps.

6. Jermaine Jones

Born in Frankfurt but the son of a U.S. Army soldier stationed in West Germany, Jermaine Jones was eligible to play for both Germany and the United States. He had split ties, not only was he born in Germany to an American father but his childhood was split between the two nations, having lived in Chicago until his parents divorced, at which time he returned to Germany. Having played for Germany’s U-21s, Jones won his first full cap in 2008, going on to win three caps for Germany before switching national teams. The LA Galaxy midfielder now has 69 caps for the United States Mens National Team.

5. Nacer Chadli

Having been born in Belgium but being of Moroccan descent, it is understandable that Nacer Chadli had a tricky decision to make with regards to which country he represented at international level. Chadli was first called up to the Morocco squad in 2010, aged 21, and accepted the call-up, winning one cap against Northern Ireland. A year later, Chadli switched his allegiances though, and the former Tottenham Hotspur man who is now at West Brom has since won 35 caps for Belgium, scoring four goals.

4. Thiago Motta

Experienced midfielder Thiago Motta has played for a number of top European clubs over the last decade, namely; Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, and since 2012, PSG. A powerful midfielder with good vision and passing abilities, Motta has won 25 trophies at club level, including league titles in Spain, Italy and France, as well as winning the Champions League twice.

Motta first played internationally for his native Brazil, winning two caps in 2003, but having not been recalled for eight years, in 2011 he accepted a call-up from Italy, and has – to date – won 30 caps for the Azzurri.

3. Wilfried Zaha

The most recent switch in this seven, Wilfried Zaha was born in the Ivory Coast, but he and his family moved to London when he was just four. Zaha made 15 appearances for England at youth level, and won his first full cap in November 2012. He won a second cap not long after, but following more than three years without further international recognition, and playing some of his best ever football for Crystal Palace, Zaha accepted a call-up for the Ivory Coast, with whom he has since won seven caps. Unusually, both Zaha's England and Ivory Coast debuts came against Sweden.

2. Diego Costa

Controversial Chelsea forward Diego Costa secured his return to Atletico Madrid last week, a move that will take place in January. In three seasons in the Premier League, Costa scored 52 goals in 89 games and won two Premier League titles. Costa was born in Brazil and lived there until he moved to Portugal at the age of 18. He won two caps for the five time world champions in 2013, but in September of that year, he made a request to FIFA that he be allowed to switch allegiances to Spain.

Brazil were angered by the decision, but FIFA allowed it, and in February 2014 he was included in the Spain squad for the first time. He represented Spain at the 2014 World Cup hosted by Brazil, but both his native country and adopted home were humiliated at the tournament. To date, Costa has won 16 caps and scored 6 goals for Spain.

1. Michel Platini 

Currently serving an eight year ban from football, the former president of UEFA Michel Platini is the most unusual case in this seven. A Ligue 1, Serie A, European Cup and European Championship winner who won three Ballon d’Ors and took France to two World Cup semi-finals; most would probably consider Michel Platini, along with Zinedine Zidane, to be France’s greatest player of all time. He won 72 caps for France, scoring 41 goals from midfield and having great success, most notably at Euro ’84.

Aged 33, a year after retiring from football with Juventus, Platini played for another national team though, making a solitary appearance for Kuwait in a friendly against the Soviet Union. Platini, of course, was not born or brought up in Kuwait, but made the brief cameo appearance at the request of the Kuwaiti Emir.

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