Close sidebar

An XI Of Active Footballers Who Have Played For Two Nations

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 22: Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic (4) during the first half of the International Champions Cup soccer game between Barcelona and Juventus on July 22, 2017, at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In the past, footballers have jumped nationality on a couple of occasions. Ireland have a long tradition of turning to players with underage caps for England and, more recently, Northern Ireland.

However, Ireland is certainly not the only country which avails of eligibility rules. At one time, players could switch quite freely between national teams, with the likes of Alfredo Di Stefano (Argentina, Columbia and Spain) and Ferenc Puskas (Hungary and Spain) famous for togging out for different teams at senior level.

Alfredo di Stefano.


In more recent years there have been a number of players capped at senior international level having represented another side at underage level. Turkey, the USA and Algeria have a number of players who fall into this bracket.

There is a huge list of players who have jumped ship in recent years but here we have come up with an XI of modern day players that would form quite an impressive team.


GK: Asmir Begovic (Canada & Bosnia)

The Bournemouth goalkeeper was born in Bosnia but emigrated to Canada at a young age. He represented his adoptive country at under-20 level but now has 57 caps for his birth country.


DEF: Neven Subotic (USA & Serbia)

Yugoslavia-born Subotic represented the USA at underage level having moved there as a child. He’s now decided to represent Serbia and has done so since 2009.


DEF: Medhi Benatia (France & Tunisia)

The France-born Juventus defender was born in France to a Moroccan father and Algerian mother. Represented both France and Morocco at underage level before committing fully to the North Africans.


DEF: Roman Neustadter (Germany & Russia)

The Ukraine-born defender made a name for himself with Schalke before going on to win two caps for Germany in friendlies. Has since declared for Russia, representing the country at Euro 2016.


MID/DEF: Victor Moses (England & Nigeria)

A former teammate of Begovic, Moses was once considered one of the wonderkids of English football. Having represented England all the way up to under-21 level, he declared for his birth nation, Nigeria.


MID: Fabian Johnson (Germany & USA)

Another former Germany youth player, pacey full-back Johnson was one of a number of Germany-born players brought into the USA squad by Jurgen Klinsmann during his reign. Has 56 caps and two goals for his country.


MID: Ivan Rakitic (Switzerland & Croatia)

One of the top players in world football and forms part of an impressive Croatia midfield. However, he was once a Swiss youth international, representing his birth nation at under-21 level.


MID: Miralem Pjanic (Luxembourg & Bosnia And Herzegovina)

Luxembourg have had little luck in world football and could have had one of the best set-piece specialists in the world right now if he did not choose his birth country of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


MID/FW: Wilfred Zaha (England & Ivory Coast)

England thought they were onto a real coup with the pacy winger who was capped while still a Championship player. Without a competitive cap, he switched allegiances to his birth country, the Ivory Coast, playing at the African Cup of Nations earlier this year.


FW: Diego Costa (Brazil & Spain)

Costa won two caps for his native Brazil in 2013 and looked to be one of their focal points in attack. Despite no blood ties to Spain, Costa declared for the then world champions just before the 2014 World Cup in his birth country.


MID/FW: Kevin-Prince Boeteng (Germany & Ghana)

Another Germany-born player to jump ship. Brother of Jerome, Kevin-Prince played in two World Cups for Ghana despite a brief international retirement in between the two tournaments.


Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena

Sign Up For The LOI Arena Newsletter

Read More About: , , , , , , ,

Author: Nick Menezes

Nick is a soccer, GAA and rugby fanatic who has a worrying obsession with the Irish football team. His articles focus on Irish football and he also writes some light-hearted pieces, particularly quirky starting XIs.