Tuesday, December 13, 2016

French-Born Players Capped by other national teams

Anthony Lopes and  Guerreiro won the Euro 2016 after beating France in Paris
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

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

Due to its colonial past, France is becoming an ever-more-multiethnic society.  Many sons of immigrants decided to represent the national teams of their motherland.  At the 2014 World Cup, there were 25 French-born players representing other countries — 16 alone for Algeria. That's not only enough to field another full team for France, but also five more players than are actually on the French team, Les Bleus, in Brazil. 

At Euro 2016, Benatia, Mahrez and Aubameyang would have helped them.  Instead, they lost to Portugal that consisted two French-born players -- Anthony Lopes and Guerreiro on their team.

I have also created an all-time team for:
Players born in the Overeseas Department and former French Colonies
French Black Players
Argentine-born players capped by other national teams
German-born players capped by other national Teams
Brazilian players capped by other national teams

GK: Anthony Lopes (Portugal)
He came through the ranks with Lyon.  He made his first team debut in 2011.  Born in France, he opted to play for Portugal.  He was the backup keeper for the Euro 2016 winning team.

GK: Raïs M'Bolhi (Algeria)
M'Bolhi was born in Paris, France to a Congolese father and Algerian mother. He started playing football (soccer) for RCF Paris. Then, he joined Olympique de Marseille, though he never made a league appearance before his release in January 2006. He played in Turkey, Bulgaria, the USA, Russia, etc. He was capped by France at the youth level before switching to Algeria.  He played in both WC Finals in 2010 and 2014.

GK: Ali Ahamada (Comoria)
Ahamada is born in France to parents of Comorian descent. He was a French youth national. In March 2016, Ahamada was called up to the Comoros national football team.  He was a youth product of Toulouse FC.  He played for their first team from 2011 to 2016.

RB: Guy Demel  (Ivory Coast)
Demel started his career in France with Nîmes Olympique before joining English club Arsenal in 2000. He then played in Germany for ten years, signing for Borussia Dortmund in 2001 and then Hamburger SV in 2005. He returned to England with West Ham United in 2011, leaving the club in 2015 and subsequently joining Dundee United. Demel was born in France but represented  Ivory Coast making 35 appearances. He was in the Ivorian squad for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations.

CB: Kalidou Koulibal (Senegal)
He played with Metz and Ghent before making a move to Napoli.  He played for the U-20 French side. However, in early September 2015, Koulibaly changed federations and joined the Senegal national football team, despite the interest to call him for Les Bleus from Didier Deschamps.

CB: Medhi Benatia (Morocco) 
At the time of writing, he is considered one of the top center-backs in the world.  He first made a name with Udinese and then, Roma, where he was a top defender in the Serie A.  In the summer of 2014, he joined Bayern Munich.  In 2016, he returned to Juventus.

CB: Noureddine Kourichi (Algeria)
Born in France, he played with Valenciennes, Girondines Bordeaux and Lille in France.  He played in the 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals.

CB: Abdoulaye Méïté (Ivory Coast)
Méïté joined Marseille in July 2000 and made 172 League appearances, as well as starting in the 2004 UEFA Cup Final.  in 2008, he joined Bolton Wanderers.  He was a part of the squad at the WC Finals in 2006.

LB:  Benoît Assou-Ekotto (Cameroon)
Capped 24 times, he was a member of Cameroon's WC team in 2010 and 2014.  He started his career with Lens.  He has played 7 seasons with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He also played for QPR, St. Etienne and Metz.  
Benoît Assou-Ekotto 

LB: Raphaël Guerreiro (Portugal)
Born in France, he began his career at Caen, signing in 2013 with Lorient where he made his Ligue 1 debut. In June 2016, he joined Borussia Dortmund. Guerreiro represented Portugal at under-21 and senior level, first appearing for the latter in 2014. He was part of their squad at Euro 2016, winning the tournament.

CM/DM: Mohamed "Momo" Sissoko (Mali)
Momo Sissoko began his professional career with Valencia.  He would play for Liverpool, PSG, Juventus, Forientina and Shanghai Shenhua. Born in France, he was capped by Mali.

CM/DM: Petit (Portugal)
Born in France as Armando Gonçalves Teixeira, he received the moniker Petit because of his small frame, and also because he was born in France. He made his name with Boavista FC before joining
Benfica in 2002. He also played for Koln.  Capped 58 times. He was also a member of the national team that reached the final at UEFA Euro 2004, hosted by Portugal.  He went to the WC in 2006 and Euro 2008.
CM/DM: Tobias Linderoth (Sweden)
Linderoth played mainly in Denmark, but he also had spells in England and Turkey. Linderoth was a midfield dynamo on the Swedish national team where he also was assistant captain. Tobias played for Sweden in the Euro 2004 and Euro 2008, as well as in the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup tournaments.
Tobias Linderoth

AM/CM: Dušan Maravić (Yugoslavia)
Born in France, his family moved back to Yugoslavia after the War. In 1958, aged 19 he became a member of Yugoslavian giants Red Star Belgrade. In six years with Red Star,  Maravić appeared in 232 official matches, scoring 82 goals. He was capped 7 times. After winning the gold Olympic medal, he was allowed to go abroad. He played for Racing Paris until 1969 when he shortly moved to OFK Beograd, and then proceed to Venezuelan Deportivo Italia.

AM/RW: Mustapha Hadji (Morocco)
Hadji grew up in France, but chose to represent Morocco in 1993. He went to the WC Finals in 1994 and 1998.  After the WC Finals in 1998, he won the African Player of the Year award that year.  He was named the 50th greatest African player of all time by African football expert Ed Dove. Professionally, he played for many clubs mainly in Spain and England. He had stints with Nancy, Sporting SP, Deportivo La Coruna, Coventry, Aston Villa, etc.
Mustapha Hadji
RW: Riyad Mahrez (Algeria)
He helped Leicester Town to win the Premiership in 2015-2016.  He won the PFA Players' Player of the Year, and was a member of the Premier League PFA Team of the Year as he helped Leicester City win the Premier League.
Riyad Mahrez 

LW/FW: Istvan Nyers (Hungary)
He was of the same age as the members of the Mighty Magyars, but he was not a member of them.  He was capped twice by Hungary between 1945 and 1946. Born in France of Hungarian immigrants, he moved back to Hungary and played for various numbers of clubs in Eastern Europe.   He joined Inter Milan in 1948, where he won two Serie A titles and finished as the top scorer of the league.

LW: Andre Ayew (Ghana)
Ayew is the son of Abedi Pele.  He began his career in Ghana, playing for Nania. In 2005, he signed with his father's former club, Marseille. He made over 200 appearances and winning consecutive Trophée des champions and Coupe de la Ligues in both 2010 and 2011. He also played for Swansea. In 2011 Ayew was named the BBC African Footballer of the Year and Ghanaian Footballer of the Year. He represented Ghana at the WC Finals in 2010 and 2014.

LW/AM: Joseph-Desire Job (Cameroon)
Job played for Lens and Lyons in France. After starting his career in France, Job moved to English team Middlesbrough, where he spent six years and is most remembered for scoring one of the two goals in the 2004 League Cup Final, where Middlesbrough won their first ever trophy. He also played for clubs in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Belgium. Whilst playing for Saudi club Al-Ittihad, he won the 2005 AFC Champions League and scored in the final.

FW: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon)
He began his career at Milan, who loaned him to four French clubs before he joined Saint-Étienne permanently in 2011. After winning the 2013 Coupe de la Ligue Final, he joined Dortmund, where he has twice won the DFL-Supercup in 2013 and 2014. Despite playing once for France Under-21, Aubameyang made his senior international debut for Gabon in 2009, and has represented them at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2012 Olympics. He is the African Player of the Year of 2015.

ST: Frederic Kanoute  (Mali)
He won two UEFA Cups while playing for Sevilla in Spain.  He was African Player of the Year in 2007.  He was born in France, but represented Mali internationally.  He played in France, England, Spain and China professionally.  He won two UEFA Cup with Sevilla.
Frederic Kanoute 
ST: Marouane Chamakh (Morocco)
Born in France.  He played for the french youth team before switching to play for Morocco at the senior level.  He started his career with Bordeaux before moving to England, where he played for Arsenal, West Ham and Crystal Palace.

ST: Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina)
Born in France of an Argentinian player Jorge Higuain, Gonzalo first starred for River Plate in Argentina.  He joined Real Madrid in 2006.  He became a fan's favourite after scoring the winning goal against Espanyol on his debut season.  He would stay with the club until 2013.  Gonzalo Higuain later played with Napoli and Juventus.  In the 2015–16 season, he scored 36 league goals, winning the Capocannoniere title and equalling Gino Rossetti's 87-year-old record for goals in an Italian top-flight season. With For the national team, he earned 52 caps.  He was brought into the national team after Argentina struggled to qualify for South Africa 2010.
Gonzalo Higuain 

Honorable Mention
Jacques Fatton(Switzerland), Adrien Silva(Portugal), Madjid Bougherra (Algeria), Charles Itandje(Cameroon), Mamadou Samassa(Mali), Faouzi Ghoulam (Algeria), Demba Ba (Senegal), Jordan Ayew (Ghana), Sofiane Feghouli (Algeria), Ludovic Obraniak (Poland), Jan Michaelsen (Denmark), Jean-Joël Perrier-Doumbé (Cameroon),  Lamine Sané (Senegal).

Squad Explanation
--  This blog post is based on birth place.  
-- All French-born players who were capped by France and later switched to another national team are not selected.
-- Gonzalo Higuaín was born in Fance while his father was playing club football there.  The father of the Ayew brothers is Abedi Pele.  So they played for Ghana.
-- I only brought 10 defenders so that I can bring Joseph-Desire Job.
-- I chose two leftbacks out of Raphaël Guerreiro, Faouzi Ghoulam, and Benoît Assou-Ekotto.


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