Whilst Adnan Januzaj can be left thinking which country he wants to represent, I have been thinking about a foreign XI.

An XI of players who turned their backs on their home country, either due to gaining citizenship elsewhere, or through a grandparent. To qualify, the player must come from a country with a fully functioning national team.

Goalkeeper - Boaz Myhill

Country represented - Wales - Country of birth - USA

I struggled to find a goalkeeper, so as a Hull City fan, Boaz Myhill sprang to mind. (If you can think of one please leave a comment).

Born in California, to an English father and Welsh mother, he moved to England at the age of one, and went on to represent England at Under 20's.

After initially turning down an approach from the Welsh FA in 2006, he made his first appearance in 2008 and has gone on to make 19 appearances so far for the Welsh national team.

Right-back - Lillian Thuram

Country represented - France - Country of birth - Guadeloupe

The most capped player in French football history, was born in the French overseas region of Guadeloupe, but decided to represent France.

Was his decision rewarded?

With France he won the World Cup (and finished runner-up), the Euros and the Confederation Cup.

If he'd have played with Guadeloupe? He'd have reached the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals in 2007.

Centre-back - Pepe

Country represented - Portugal - Country of birth - Brazil

Pepe gained Portuguese citizenship in 2007, and rejected an approach in 2006 to play for his home-country of Brazil in the 2006 World Cup.

Pepe played in Portugal for six years from 2001 - 2007 and it seems a large coincidence that as soon as he gained citizenship, he upped sticks and moved east to Spain.

Pepe has gone on to make 54 appearances for Portugal.

Centre-back - Marcel Desailly 

Country represented - France - Country of birth - Ghana

Another French import, Desailly went on to make 116 appearances for France.

He moved to France at the age of four after being adopted by the head of the French consulate in his home-town of Accra.

Desailly's decision to represent France was met with controversy but he has said that he 'feels totally French'.

Desailly was the most-capped player in French history, until he was overtaken by fellow import, Lillian Thuram.

Left-back - Christian Karembeu

Country represented - France - Country of birth - New Caledonia

Seems this team has rather a French back-bone.

Worth mentioning that Karembeu is not a left-back, but I struggled to find someone, so again leave a comment if you can think of one.

Karembeu was born in the French overseas region of New Caledonia, unlike Desailly and Thuram.

Like Desailly and Thuram, he was part of the team that won the World Cup in 1998. I feel there may be more French players coming soon as well.

Right-midfield - Michel Platini

Country represented - Kuwait - Country of birth - France

Bit of a quirky this one, not only that Platini is now playing on the wing, but Platini decided after playing for France 72 times he fancied a change, and represented Kuwait in a friendly against the Soviet Union.

Not sure how they managed to get that one past FIFA, with Platini having no links to Kuwait and having played a competitive fixture for France.

Now the chairman of UEFA, Platini is the man enforcing the law he slipped through.

Centre-midfield - Patrick Vieria

Country represented - France - Country of birth - Senegal

Probably one of the most well-known examples, Vieria decided to represent France, where he has lived since the age of four, and only returned to his home country in 2003, 23 years after leaving Senegal.

Vieria went on to get 107 caps for France, but could have had an entirely different career, had he represented Senegal, or even his mothers country of birth, Cape Verde (where his surname originates from).

Centre-midfield - Deco

Country represented - Portugal - Country of birth - Brazil

Almost a carbon copy of Pepe, in very few senses, Deco gained citizenship after playing at Benfica, where then manager Graeme Souness, didn't believe Deco would make it at the top level.

Deco never made an appearance at Benfica but was loaned out to Alverca and Salgueiros before joining Porto.

He made his Portugal debut in 2003, who against? I hear you ask. Football has a way of doing this, a players first game nearly always ends up being against his old team, and Deco's first game for Portugal was against Brazil, the country who had rejected him and never called him.

Of course, Portugal won 2-1 and Deco went on to make 75 appearances.

Left-midfield - John Barnes

Country represented - England - Country of birth - Jamaica

To quote John Barnes "You've got to hold and give, but do it at the right time, you can be slow or fast, but you must get to the line. They'll always hit you and hurt you, defend and attack, there's only one way to beat them, get round the back. Catch me if you can, 'cause I'm the England man, and what you're looking at is the master plan. We ain't no hooligans, this ain't a football song, three lions on my chest. I know we can't go wrong."

Not relevant at all, but still brilliant.

Barnes moved to England at the age of 12 and made his England debut in 1983.

Best known for THAT goal at the Maracanã and THAT rap.

Went on to make 79 appearances for England then had a managerial career with Celtic, Jamaica and Tranmere Rovers.

Striker - Ferenc Puskás

Country represented - Spain - Country of birth - Hungary

Arguably one of the greatest strikers of all time, Puskás spent much of his career playing for the Hungary national team and had a sensational goal-scoring record.

An incredible return of 84 goals in 85 games saw him labelled as one of the greatest players of the game, ever.

In one of his most famous games, tore England to shreds as they beat the Three Lions in fantastic fashion, winning 7-1.

After the Hungarian revolution, Puskás refused to return to Hungary and changed nationality to Spain, with seemingly no rules in force in the 1960's to stop players changing nationalities like socks, Puskás went on to play four times for Spain, without scoring a goal.

Striker - Miroslav Klose

Country represented - Germany - Country of birth - Poland

Currently Germany's joint top record goal-scorer with Gerd Muller, Klose was born and brought up in Poland to a Polish mother and German father.

When Klose arrived in Germany in 1986 to start his professional career, he knew just two words of German. In an interview he said he is neither German or Polish but classes himself as 'european'.

Currently sitting on 130 caps and 68 goals, Klose is retiring from international football after the 2014 World Cup.

Substitutes- Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Lukas Podolski, Ludovic Obraniak

Topics:
#World Cup
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