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5 Famous Players Who Switched National Teams

Footballers sometimes change their national allegiance over their careers, which often leads to controversy, conflicts, and debates.

Switching allegiances in modern football history has grown rather regular, despite the fact that players can only do so if they follow FIFA’s very stringent guidelines.

Below are presently 5 active players who have swapped nations in football:

5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – France to Gabon

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose father is Gabonese and whose mother is Spanish, grew up with many options.

In 2009, he made the transfer from France to Gabon and hasn’t looked back ever since.

As well as being the current captain of his country and its all-time leading scorer (with 30 goals), he led his team to the furthest they’ve ever advanced in the Africa Cup of Nations.

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4. Jack Grealish – Ireland to England

Jack Grealish may have represented either Ireland or England because of his Irish ancestry (via his grandparents) (his place of birth).

While he was still playing for Ireland’s minor sides, England continued to seek the playmaker. Grealish made his final decision to join England in 2015.

While playing with James Ward-Prowse and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, he won the Toulon Tournament in 2016.

3. Kalidou Koulibaly – France to Senegal

Despite being born in France to Senegalese immigrants, Koulibaly chose to play for Senegal because he wanted to “create the story of the future of Senegal football,” a sentiment echoed by Senegalese president Macky Sall.

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Because of the unfairness of the fair-play rules, Senegal’s 2018 World Cup campaign ended prematurely, and Koulibaly, who was suspended for accumulating too many yellow cards, was unable to watch his country’s improbable run to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final against Algeria.

Senegal overcame Egypt on penalties in the Afcon 2021 final, with Koulibaly serving as captain.

2. Taulant Xhaka – Switzerland to Albania

At the 2008 UEFA European Under 17 Championships, Granit Xhaka’s brother Taulant was a member of Switzerland’s Under 17 squad.

After representing Switzerland at the Under-21 level, he indicated a desire to play for Albania’s senior team in May 2013.

His appeal was granted by FIFA, and Xhaka made his debut for Albania in 2013.

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Granit Xhaka’s Switzerland prevailed 1-0 in their Euro 2016 showdown with the Xhaka brothers.

1. Nacer Chadli – Morocco to Belgium

He was also eligible to play for Morocco, as were many other members of Belgium’s multicultural team.

He was first called up by the Africans and made his international debut in November 2010 in a 1-1 draw away to Northern Ireland.

Chadli earned his first Belgium cap against Finland less than three months later.

In the second round of this summer’s World Cup, he came off the bench to score an injury-time winner for the Red Devils against Japan. He’s been a regular ever since.

 

 

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