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Football siblings who played for different National Teams

Here we look at siblings who have decided to wear different national team shirts and some who have competed against each other on the international stage.

Last updated: 04.09.2021
Football siblings who played for different National Teams

As the CONCACAF Gold Cup came to an end with the United States lifting the trophy, we all noticed a certain Funes Mori starting upfront for the Mexican National Team. While Rogelio Funes Mori represents Mexico on the international stage, his brother Ramiro represented Argentina in 2019. Even though Ramiro and Rogelio Funes Mori are twins, they represent two different countries. That brings us to wonder if any siblings have played for different countries on the international stage. When it comes to national team competition, one would expect that siblings would always represent the same country. There are numerous examples of siblings performing admirably for their country. However, due to their mixed background, a few siblings have chosen to represent various countries.

In acknowledgment of the complexity of individual identification that follows the rapidly changing culture in which we live, FIFA enables footballers to change their international team allegiance. Alfredo Di Stefano represented Argentina, Colombia, and Spain in the past before FIFA tightened its restrictions, and Ferenc Puskas represented both Hungary and Spain. The eligibility criteria allow a footballer to switch national teams only once, however the new rules allow for reversal of that switch in specific instances. These rules have allowed players to play for a different country under certain conditions and that has led to some siblings playing for different countries. Here, we look at siblings who have decided to wear different national team shirts and some who have competed against each other on the international stage.

The Alcantara brothers – Thiago (Spain) and Rafinha (Brazil)

Thiago is the older brother of the two. Thiago came to Spain with his father when he was five years old. While Thiago represents Spain and is married to a Spaniard, Rafinha has chosen to follow in his father's footsteps and represent the Selecao after playing for Spain at the juvenile level. Rafinha's decision to choose Brazil paid off when they won Olympic Gold in Rio de Janeiro last summer. Thiago was included in the UEFA Euro 2016 squad, as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2020 squads.

The Boateng brothers – Jerome (Germany) and Kevin (Ghana)

The Boateng brothers have played each other twice in the World Cup, making them the first brothers to do so in the tournament's history. It's a World Cup record for the brothers playing against each other. Kevin chose to represent Ghana at senior level 15 times between 2010 and 2014, scoring two goals in the process. He also represented Ghana in the FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014. Jerome Boateng has nearly 70 caps for Germany, including appearances at UEFA Euro 2012, Euro 2016, the 2010 World Cup, the 2014 World Cup, and the 2018 World Cup. He was an integral part of his country's World Cup success in 2014.

The Xhaka brothers – Granit (Switzerland) and Taulant (Albania)

Granit Xhaka was a member of the Swiss U-17 World Cup winning team in 2009. According to reports, he intended to play for Albania but did not receive a call. As a result, he decided to join Switzerland. He debuted for the national team in 2011 and has since earned over 90 caps, including appearances at the FIFA World Cups in 2014 and 2018, as well as the UEFA European Championships in 2016 and 2020. Taulant Xhaka, his younger brother, represented Switzerland at the U-17 and U-21 levels. Granit, on the other hand, urged him against playing for Switzerland. And it was for this reason that he joined Albania. Taulant made 31 appearances for Albania's national team.

The Pogba brothers – Florentin (Guinea), Mathias (Guinea), and Paul (France)

Florentin was a member of the France U-20 team. He vowed his international future to Guinea, and he made his competitive debut against Mozambique in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match. With Guinea, he has 21 caps. Mathias, Florentin's twin brother, is his best friend. On February 5, 2013, he made his Guinea debut in a friendly match against Senegal in Paris. He only has five caps for Guinea. Paul Pogba won the Best Player title after leading France to victory at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He went on to represent his country at UEFA Euro 2016, finishing second, before winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup and scoring in the final.

The Mandanda brothers – Steve (France) and Parfait (Congo)

Steve Mandanda has represented France in six international competitions since his debut in 2008, including four UEFA European Championships (2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020) and two FIFA World Cups (2010 and 2018), the latter of which he won. Parfait is Steve's younger brother, and he, too, is a goalie. On February 5, 2008, he was picked to the Congo DR squad to face France B. On March 25, 2008, he received his first cap for the DR Congo national football team against Gabon. He was also a member of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations bronze-winning Congolese side.

The Guzman brothers – Julian (Canada) and Jonathan (Netherlands)

Julian De Guzman has represented Canada at both the U-20 and senior levels, winning the Canadian Player of the Year title in 2008 and becoming only the second Canadian international to win the CONCACAF Gold Cup Most Valuable Player award in 2007. With 89 caps, he is the all-time cap leader for the Canadian national team. Jonathan de Guzmán, his younger brother, has represented the Netherlands. After gaining Dutch citizenship in 2008 and having lived in the nation since the age of 12, Jonathan made himself available for the Netherlands. He has played 14 times for the Netherlands national team.

The Funes Mori brothers – Rogelio (Mexico) and Ramiro (Argentina)

Rogelio approached FIFA in 2019 to inquire about the potential of playing for the Mexican national team but was ruled ineligible. Following a change in FIFA rules surrounding naturalized players in 2020, Funes Mori was judged eligible to play for the Mexico national team and expressed his desire to do so once more. He has made seven appearances for Mexico, the most recent of which was in the Gold Cup final against the United States. Ramiro, his twin brother, has represented Argentina on 26 occasions. He was a member of the Argentine team that reached the final of the Copa América Centenario.

The Vieri brothers – Max (Australia) and Christian (Italy)

The Vieri brothers elected to represent the countries in which they were born, with Christian being born in Italy and Max being born in Australia. Max's final international call-up for Australia came in 2005, when he made six appearances for the country, scoring no goals. Between 1997 and 2005, his brother Christian Vieri scored 23 goals in 49 games for Italy, making him the joint ninth-highest goalscorer in the country's history. He's also Italy's all-time leading scorer at the FIFA World Cup. Christian competed in Euro 2004 as well.

The Goodall brothers – John (England) and Archie (Ireland)

In the late 1800s, the Goodall brothers became the first footballing siblings to select different countries, each representing their natal country. John was born in London and represented England 14 times, scoring 12 goals. Archie was born in Belfast and has played for Northern Ireland on eleven occasions, scoring twice. Archie Goodall played center-back for Ireland until he was almost 40 years old. He scored the opening goal in a 2–0 win over Wales on March 28, 1903, to assist Ireland to win the British Home Championship. Goodall, who was 38 years and 283 days old at that time, became Ireland's oldest goalscorer with the goal.

The Taider brothers – Nabil (Tunisia) and Saphir (Algeria)

Nabil sought to join the Tunisia national football team for the 2006 FIFA World Cup when he was 21 years old, but FIFA ruled him ineligible because he had played for France U21 rather than the Tunisia national football team before the age of 21. He was ultimately able to make his Tunisian debut in 2009. Saphir Taider, his younger brother, represented his home country of France at the international level for youth. Saphir, on the other hand, earned his senior debut for Algeria in 2013 and went on to play in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Malouda brothers – Florent (France) and Lesly (French Guiana)

Florent Malouda was a France international from 2004 to 2012, appearing in 80 matches for Les Bleus, including two FIFA World Cups and two European Championships. He was a member of the French team that advanced to the World Cup final in 2006. He played for his home country of French Guiana, a non-FIFA organization, in 2017. On September 6, 2012, Lesly made his international debut for French Guiana, his home country, in a friendly against Suriname. Lesly appeared in six games for French Guiana.

The Wegerle brothers – Roy (USA) and Steve (South Africa)

At the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, Roy Wegerle was a member of the United States team. He made his national team debut against the Republic of Ireland on May 30, 1992, and went on to win 41 caps and seven goals for his chosen country. His brother Steve Wegerle choose to play for the South African National Team and managed to win 5 caps.

The Cahill brothers – Tim (Australia) and Chris (Samoa)

Tim Cahill is regarded as one of Australia's greatest footballers. He is Australia's leading goal scorer. For the Australians, he appeared in over 100 games and scored 50 goals. At the 1994 OFC U-20 Championship, he represented Samoa. In 2003, FIFA altered its eligibility regulations, allowing Cahill to play for England, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, or Samoa. He decided on Australia. His brother Chris, on the other hand, was a member of the Samoa national football team and temporarily served as captain. Chris played 15 times for Samoa.

The Ajeti brothers – Albian (Switzerland) and Arlind (Albania)

Similar to the Xhaka brothers, Albian opted to play for Switzerland and Arlind represented Albania. On September 8, 2018, Albian made his debut appearance in Switzerland. He was a member of the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals team, which finished fourth. Arlind, his younger brother, played for Switzerland at several junior levels before opting to play for Albania. He has 18 Albanian caps and was a member of the Euro 2016 qualifying squad.

The Eduardo brothers – Wilson (Angola) and Joao Mario (Portugal)

Wilson Eduardo represented Portugal at all levels of youth, earning 61 caps and scoring 26 goals. He turned down the opportunity to play for Angola's senior squad in 2013. Eduardo reversed his choice in 2019, scoring his first international goal against Botswana. Joao Mario, his younger brother, has 82 caps for Portugal at the youth level. For their UEFA Euro 2016 campaign, he was chosen by the entire team. During Euro 2016, he appeared in all seven of his team's games, including the final against France, which they won. Joao was also included in Portugal's World Cup team for 2018.

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