Monday, November 28, 2016

German-born players capped by other national teams

Boateng vs Boateng: Germany vs Ghana

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

English-born players capped by other national teams
Brazilian-born players capped by other national teams
Argentine-born players capped by other national teams
French Players Capped by Other National Teams
It's Miller/Muller time
All Diegos Team

I have created blog entries for Brazilian-born players and Argentine-born players who were capped by other countries.  This is my selection of a 23 member all-time team for German-born players capped by other country.  The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.  

Almost all of the Brazilian players were foreign players who obtained the citizenship of their adoptive countries.  They were professional footballers to come to their adoptive countries to play football.  Almost none of the German players were foreign players.  Most of the German-born players were immigrants or sons of immigrants who decided to play for the national teams of their ancestors.  I have already created blog entries for German Turks and German-Americans/American Germans.

Fabian Johnson vs Germany

GK: Maik Taylor (North Ireland)
Born to a English father and a German mother, Maik Taylor himself served in the British military while playing in the lower division. His best club stints were with Southampton, Fulham and Birmingham, where he played in the Premiership. Internationally, he chose to represent North Ireland, earning 88 caps between 1999 and 2011.

GK: Oka Nikolov (Macedonia)
Oka Nikolov spent nineteen seasons with Eintracht Frankfurt, appearing in 413 official games over the course of 13 Bundesliga seasons.  He joined Philadelphia Union in 2013, but failed to appear in any game.  He appeared 5 times for Macedonia, but never in an official game due to his issue with passport.  All matches were friendlies.

GK: David Yelldell (USA)
David Yelldell was the son of American serviceman serving in Germany and a German mother.  He played with Stuttgart Kicker, Blackburn Rover, Bayer Leverkusen, TuS Koblenz, MSV Duisburg and now with SG Sonnenhof Großaspach.  In 2011, he was capped once by the USA in a match against Paraguay.

RB: Cha Du-Ri (South Korea)
Cha Du-Ri was born in Germany while his father Cha Bum-Kun played in the Bundesliga. He had spells with many Bundesliga clubs, including his father's Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt. He was capped 76 times.  He was a member of the squad at the Korea/Japan World Cup Finals in 2002 and then, 8 years later in 2010.

RB: Ümit Davala  (Turkey)
Born in Germany, Ümit Davala played mainly in Turkey before joining Galatasaray in 1996. He was a part of their UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup winning team in 2000.  He also had stints with both AC Milan and Inter Milan, but never played a single game for Inter Milan.  He was capped 41 times. He was in the squad of Euro 2000 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

CB: Oleg Kuznetsov (USSR/Ukraine)
Born in East Germany, Oleg Kuznetsov was capped by the USSR, the CIS and Ukraine.  He was a star defender for the Soviet Union in the late 1980's.  He helped them to reach the Final of the Euro 1988 before losing to Holland.  He also played in the World Cup Finals in 1986 and 1990, and then, for CIS in the European Championship of 1992.  He played mainly for Dynamo Kyiv.  He played for Rangers in Scot;and after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Oleg Kuznetsov
CB: Ogun Temizkanoglu (Turkey)
Ogun Temizkanoglu played mostly for Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe as a central defender. He also played for Konyaspor and Akçaabat Sebatspor. He retired after terminating his contract with Akçaabat Sebatspor on 12 August 2005.  He played for Turkey national football team and was a participant at the 1996 and 2000 UEFA European Championship.  Capped 76 times.

CB: Robert Kovac (Croatia)
Born in West Germany, Robert Kovac represented Croatia in two World Cup Finals: 2002 and 2006, and has also participated at two European Championships: 2004 and 2008. He was the captain of the national team after his brother Niko retired.  He played a few of the biggest clubs in the world, notably with Bayern Munich and Juvnetus.  

CB/DM: Thomas Dooley (USA)
Thomas Dooley was the son of a US serviceman stationed in Germany and a German mother.  He won the Bundesliga with Kaiserslautern in 1990-1991 and then the UEFA Cup with Schalke 04 in 1996-1997.  He was capped 81 times between 1992 and 1999.  He was a key player as the United States reached the 2nd round at the 1994 World Cup Finals and was the captain at the World Cup in 1998.  He was the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 1993. He is a Members of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Thomas Dooley vs Germany

LB: José Holebas (Greece)
Holebas was born in West Germany to a Greek father and a Uruguayan mother. He played in the lower division in Germany before moving to Olympiakos in Greece. He also played for Roma and Watford.  He was capped 38 times for Greece.  He played at the European Championship in  2012 and the 2014 World Cup Finals in Brazil.

LB: Sead Kolašinac (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Born in Germany, Sead Kolašinac had represented Germany at the youth level, but he chose to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2013.  He represented his country at the 2014 World Cup Finals.  From 2012 to 2017, he played for Schalke 04.  He was named the Bundesliga Team of the Year twice.  In 2018, he moved to play for Arsenal.

CB/DM: Niko Kovac (Croatia)
Born in Germany of Croatian background, Niko Kovac spent most of his career playing in the Bundesliga.  He had spells with Hertha BSC, Bayer Leverkusen, Hamburger SV and Bayern Munich.  He earned 83 caps for Croatia and was their captain from 2004 onward.  He went to all major tournaments from 2002.  He is Robert Kovac's older brother.

DM: Bernd Krauss (Austria)
Krauss started his professional career at Borussia Dortmund, Between 1977 and 1982, he played Austrian side Rapid Wien, winning the league title twice and the domestic cup. He returned to Germany in 1983 to join Borussia Mönchengladbach. In 1981, he became an Austria and represented Austria 22 times.  He never scored a goal for Austria, but scored an own goal ironically against West Germany.  He played in the 1982 WC Finals.

DM/CM/RM/RB: Hamit Altıntop (Turkey)
Hamit Altıntop is a versatile player who can play in various position.  He played for Schalke 04, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and now Galatasaray.   He helped Turkey to reach the semifinal at the European Champions in 2008, where he was voted into the all-tournament team. Between 2004 and 2014, he played 82 times for Turkey.  His twin brother is Halil Altıntop, who also played for Turkey.
Hamit Altıntop
CM: Nuri Sahin (Turkey)
Born in Germany of Turkish ancestry. On 6 August 2005, at the age of 16 years and 334 days, Şahin set a record by becoming the youngest player to have played in the Bundesliga, and on 25 November of the same year became the youngest player to score a goal in the Bundesliga, scoring for Borussia Dortmund against 1. FC Nuremberg.  In 2011, he made a big time to Real Madrid.  He returned to Borussia Dortmund in 2013 after a loan deal with Liverpool.  He earned his first cap in 2005 and scored his first goal ironically against Germany.
Nuri Sahin 
CM: Yıldıray Baştürk (Turkey)
Yıldıray Baştürk was born in Germany of Turkish ancestry.   He is best remembered for his most successful years at Leverkusen. He was the playmaker of a great Leverkusen that finished second in the German league, the German Cup and the 2002 Champions League Final.  That same year, he led Turkey to the semi-final of the World Cup Finals in Japan/Korea.

AM: Kevin-Prince Boateng (Ghana)
Born in Germany, his father is from Ghana.  His half brother is Jerome Boateng, who played for Germany.  He represented Germany at the youth level, but switched to Ghana as a senior.  He played in two World Cup Finals.  In 2010, the Boateng brothers became the first brother to play against each other in a World Cup Final.  They again played against each other in 2014.  For club football, he played in Germany, England, Italy and Spain.
Kevin Prince Boateng
AM: Robert Prosinecki (Croatia)
Robert Prosinecki was considered one of the most talented players from Yugoslavia in the 1990's.  In 1987, Prosinečki was named the tournament's best player as Yugoslavia won the World Youth Championship.  He then played for Yugoslavia at the 1990 World Cup and for Croatia at Euro 96 and the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.  For his club career, he played for both Real Madrid and Barcelona, but he failed to establish himself at neither club.
Robert Prosinecki 
LW: Willi Lippens (Holland)
Born to a Dutch father and a German mother, Lippens played for Rot-Weiss Essen and Borussia Dortmund in the 1970's before leaving to play one season for the Dallas Tornado in the NASL in 1979.  Lippens, who spoke only very basic Dutch, is the only native German-speaker ever to have played for Holland. Lippens had declined to play for Germany as his Dutch father had forbidden him to play for Germany. 

RW/FW: Martin Harnik (Austria)
Born in Germany, his father was from Austria while his mother is German.  For his club career, Martin Harnik played for Werder Bremen, Stuttgart and Hanover 96 in Germany.  His longest career is with Stuttgart, where he played from 2010 and 2016. He never lived in Austria, but chose to represent them in international football. Between 2007 and 2017, he played 61 times for Austria.  He played for Austria at the European Championship in 2008 when Austria co-hosted the tournament.  
Martin Harnik
AM: Otto Addo (Ghana)
Born in Germany, Otto Addo made his name with Hanover 96.  He moved to Borussia Dortmund in 1999.  His injury problems limited his career.  He later played for Mainz and Hamburger.  Between 1999 and 2006, he played 15 times for Ghana.  He represented Ghana at the World Cup Finals in 2006, where it was hosted in the country of his birth.

AM: Zvjezdan Misimovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Zvjezdan Misimovic played for Bayern Munich, VfL Wolfsburg, Galatasaray and Dynamo Moscow as an attacking midfielder.  Misimović played for Yugoslavai at the youth level. He is the second most capped player in the history of the Bosnia and Herzegovina, capped 84 times. Furthermore, his 25 international goals makes him his country's second top-goalscorer.  He played at the WC Finals in 2014.

ST: Ivan Klasnic  (Croatia)
He began his career with St. Pauli, and moved to Werder Bremen in 2001.  He won a league and cup double in 2004. He also played  in France with Nantes, in England with Bolton Wanderers. In 2012, he spent a season back in Germany with Mainz.  In 2007, Klasnić underwent a kidney transplant, and became the first player to participate in a major tournament (Euro 2008) after a transplant. He also represented Croatia at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup.

ST: Alfred Bickel (Switzerland)
Alfred Bickel played as a forward for local club Grasshopper Club Zürich and the Switzerland national team, participating with the latter in the World Cup finals of 1938 and 1950.  Bickel is one of only two footballers ever to participate in World Cups before and after World War II, the other being Sweden's Erik Nilsson. At the 1938 World Cup Finals, he played against Germany, the country where he was born.
Alfred Bickel

Honorable Mention
Serkan Calik (Turkey), Berkant Goektan (Turkey), Ilhan Mansiz (Turkey),  John Brooks (USA), Timothy Chandler (USA), Julian Green (USA), Jermaine Jones (USA), Joël Matip (Cameroon), Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting (Cameroon), Ivica Grilic ( Bosnia and Herzegovina), Zlatan Bajramovic(Bosnia-Herzegovina)Muhamed Bešić (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Ermin Bičakčić (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Sead Kolašinac (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Sead Kolašinac (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Ashkan Dejagah (Iran), Anthony Baffoe (Ghana), Jeffrey Schlupp (Ghana), Hans Sarpei (Ghana), Mikael Forssell (Finland), Ignace Kowalczyk (France),  Stephan Loboue(Ivory Coast), Sead Ramovic (Bosnia-Herzegovina),  Sead Kolašinac (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Ignace Kowalczyk (France), Henri Skiba (France), Steve Lomas (N.Ireland), Minas Hantzidis (Greece), Giorgos Donis (Greece), Mërgim Mavraj (Albania), Cédric Soares (Portugal), Karim Benyamina (Algeria), Louis Schaub (Austria), Thomas Hickersberger (Austria), Curro Torres (Spain), Stephan Loboué (Ivory Coast), Shane Smeltz (New Zealand), Rainer Rauffmann (Cyprus), Vincenzo Grifo (Italy), Nicola Sansone (Italy), Roberto Soriano (Italy), Joselu (Spain).

Squad Explanation
-- I avoided the sensitivity of territorial issues left behind by the two World Wars.  This is just a simple blog.  I do not intend to be political about that.  I avoided selecting some players because the sensitivity.  
-- Alfred Bickel is the only player from the World War's eras that I selected.  He played for Switzerland.
-- Eugen Polanski, Adam Matuszczyk and Sebastian Boenisch were not born in Germany.
-- Ewald Dytko, Wilhelm Góra, Erwin Nyc, Friedrich Scherfke and Ernst Wilimowski were a part of the Polish national team at the World Cup Finals in 1938.  They were born in Silesia when it was still a part of Germany.  Again, I kept them away from this team due the sensitivity of issue.
-- Dragan Holcer of Yugoslavia was born in a Nazi prison camp to Slovenian father Franc Holcer and Italian-Austrian mother Ida Orelli in Bad Gottleuba-Berggießhübel.  Again, I stayed away from the controversial issue of the War,  
-- France brought Ignace Kowalczyk and Oscar Heisserer to the World Cup Finals in 1938.  Heisserer was born in an area when it was still under Germany, but today, it is now as a part of France. I decided not to select Heisserer. However, Ignace Kowalczyk was born in North Rhine-Westphalia.  So he is eligible.
-- Kevin-Prince Boateng (Ghana) is the brother of Jerome Boateng who played for Germamy. They played against each other in the World Cup Finals.
-- Oleg Kuznetsov was born in East Germany, which is now Germany.  Karim Benyamina was also born in East Germany.
-- Cha Du-Ri was born in Germany while his father Cha Bum-Kun played in the Bundesliga. 
-- Maik Taylor (North Ireland) and most of the American players were sons of soldiers stationed in Germany.
-- Robert Prosinecki lived more than 10 years in Germany, where his parents were guest workers.
-- Fabien Johnson helped Germany to win the 2009 European U21 Championship.  He played along side with Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil, etc.  In 2020, I replaced hi  with Sead Kolašinac.  He was named in the Bundesliga Team of the Season twice.
-- Bernd Krauss is the only German-born player who was naturalized to play for another country.  Every other player except Alfred Bickel were sons of at least one parent from the country where he played internationally. I do not know Bickel's story.  However, Bickel scored a goal in the 1938 World Cup Finals in the replay match against Germany.  Germany was one of the favorites because of the addition of some Austrian players after the Anschluss.  
-- Cha Du-Ri was born in Germany while his father Cha Bum-Kun played in the Bundesliga. 
-- Several German-born players played against Germany in a World Cup match.  Thomas Dooley played against Germany in the firsr round of the 1998 World Cup Finals. Robert Prosinecki was on that historical Croatian team that beat Germany in 1998.  Cha Du-Ri (South Korea) played against Germany in the 2002 semifinal. Of course, Kevin Prince Boetang took on his brother Jerome in 2014.
-- Both Germany and Turkey were the semifinal the 2002 World Cup Finals, but only Germany reached the Final.  Both Ümit Davala and Yıldıray Baştürk are on Turkey's World Cup team. I created this alternative German World Cup team in 2002.  The team included a few German-born players who chose to play for another country.