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The club survives and goes on to enjoy success culminating in a trip to Wembley for a nail-biting League One playoff final, which is lost, only to return the following season, this time to be victorious, winning promotion to the Championship. Anyone who has ever given their loyalty to a football club will empathise with this Millwall optimist as he takes the reader through the full range of emotions experienced almost daily by all true fans as they support their teams through defeat and follow them to glory.

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Write a customer review. Discover the best of shopping and entertainment with Amazon Prime. I think not!! This is a subject that does annoy me. One of the things that makes football so special is the passion that forms part of the game and that it bring every kind of person together for enjoyment.

It may well be being watered down due to money in the game. However, it must be different from an international perspective, if there is no passion or honour in representing ones country what is the point? I remember getting a bit annoyed when Owen Hargreaves was selected for England some years back. He represented Wales at U19 level before deciding England was the nation for him presumably because England had high chances of tournament qualification.

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In hindsight, I do not have an issue with this kind of situation. I think it is fair that Hargreaves could play for either Wales, England or Canada and that it was his choice to make. For me, this was wrong. There is no possible argument for how it would be appropriate for him to play for Spain. Even if he hated his birth country or where he grew up, he is still Brazilian.


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But read the letter, I have some quite interesting stats and examples that highlight the issue. Please follow me on twitter and instagram teekoseyart For my general thoughts and to keep up to date with this blog and other stuff i get up to. Box Zurich, Switzerland. We live in a changing world where people emigrate for a host of good and bad reasons, but the naturalising of players has gone a step too far in my opinion.

Diego Costa was born in Brazil and begun his professional career in football aged 17 in Portugal before arriving in Spain aged This clearly does not make him Spanish. Despite that clear fact, due to FIFA ruling allowing players citizenship following five years residency in said country, Diego Costa in this instance is now technically Spanish.

At the upcoming World Cup out of the players who have been selected to compete there will be 80 players representing a country that is different to their country of birth. Quite a surprising statistic that am sure most people will not expect. In the world we live where emigration in the past years in order to better ones life and the life of your family is so high there is bound to hundreds of thousands of children born in countries different to their parents.

Eastern Europe and Africa are perfect examples of this. Algeria will go the World Cup with 16 of their 23 man squad being born in France, but all with parents born in Algeria.

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Some people will say that you should only represent the country that you are born in as technically that is your nationality. I disagree with this as there are many reasons why it may not be appropriate. It may be the case that ones parents may have been in the country for a short period of time working at the time of the childs birth.

My research into the subject has identified a number of players born in a country where their parents were stationed as part of their Army service. Again this is a fair reason why their nationality is questionable. By the same token if you emigrate at such a young age that by the time you are a young adult you have no recollection of your birth nation you are likely to classify yourself as a national of your adopted country. France international Rio Mavuba was actually born at sea escaping a war zone. There are good and fair reasons to opt to play for the nationality of your parents or the country you have spent your entire life growing up in.

I would question however playing for the country of one of your grandparents. In my opinion the connection is somewhat too distant, but i do accept it, particularly on the grounds of family pride etc. There are a number of British players who have gained international recognition within the Caribbean through this method, which I would suggest are particularly questionable. My concern is that the rules have been and will be exploited more and more as years go by. I believe that international football should be the best that a country has against the best of another.

Adan Januzaj is a great example of this modern phenomenon. So from the off you would think it was a choice between three nations. He moved to England in and there was talk of him waiting until in order to bring England into his choice.


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  • Clearly ludicrous. As time goes by I see I real disconnection between the fans and international football that only gains interest during a major tournaments. This disappoints me. It was international football that really got me interested in football. USA international Mikkel Diskerud has 20 caps at the time of writing, but prior to playing a competitive international for USA he was also eligible for Norway as the country of birth. He qualifies for USA due to the birthplace of his mother. Diskerud grew up in Norway and plays his professional football in Norway. I would question a player like this.

    Surely despite qualifying for both countries you must feel for one more than the other. I believe that international football was once a passionate and competitive level of football, but now it seem as though it is merely about recognition in order to gain financially. Over the years we have seen a number of Brazilians naturalised all over the world. Brazil seems to be the main country where players are naturalised from with no family connection.

    Togo once famously fielded six Brazilians in an African nations match. The reason for the low turn is that many of the naturalised Brazilians play for low ranked nations, with a few more cut from the final 23 men squads announced last week. Out of 32 teams at the finals, we will still have other nationalities but there could be teams full of Brazilian players. There are 60 million footballers in Brazil but only 11 places in their national team. A series of rules changes have been brought in to force regarding how a player can represent a nation. Effectively one can represent through birth, birth of a parent or birth of a grandparent.

    These seems fair and logical rules for players to fall within in order to represent a nation.

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    The exceptional instance I spoke earlier i. Algeria falls into this category. It is a grey area but I believe the majority of people in these categories would classify themselves as being a national of their chosen country. There is an additional category brought into force in , which allows representation to occur following 2 years of continuous residency in said country as long as no previous competitive representation has been made elsewhere. This was extended in to five years of continuous residency.

    This is where the grey area become very blurry. In theory and this is to the extreme an uncapped 33 year old player could move to a new country play five years and then represent them at international level at the age of 38 years of age. There is no way this would seem fair or appropriate. Brazil would appear to be the most susceptible of nations to this problem as highlighted by your comment. Their national side is full of top level talent and current records indicate there are over professional Brazilian players playing outside of Brazil over the world in professional league.

    Of these only will ever get the call from the national side. We also have the other side of the coin where emerging rich nations can effectively buy international improvement, by naturalising talent at young ages from poorer nations. Whilst giving players from poorer upbringings the opportunity to improve their lives is a fantastic thing and should be applauded, if the end game from the respective FA is the naturalise the players, surely this is wrong?

    I believe that further change needs to be made for the good of the game. The naturalising of players rule needs amending. Its seem illogical for an adult to be able to be naturalised. They have lived their life with an identity that includes a nationality and a heritage, whether that is good or bad it is factual. Children are different. Whilst we can all remember certain aspects of our childhood, it takes years to shape our personalities and that is why most cultures do not classify a person as an adult until they are 18 years of age.