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American-born soccer players who are in the Eurocup

Up to seven European teams have nationalized players. Do you know them all?.

Pepe, Raheem Sterling and Joginho Frello

For this edition we will witness several cases where these protagonists will help the countries that saw them born soccer. Photos: IG-official_pepe, IG-sterling7, IG-jorginhofrello

LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón González

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Leer en español: Futbolistas nacidos en América que jugarán la Eurocopa

With the same enthusiasm and emotions as always, Euro 2020 (played this year) started, one of the most anticipated tournaments in Soccer and which had to be postponed due to the pandemic. A total of 24 teams will be giving everything to establish themselves as the best of the old continent, and with the only novelty that they will not do it in one or two host countries but in 11 different nations. The potential of the teams is quite great and that complicates the predictions about who will play the final at Wembley.

Although it is an exclusively European tournament, it should be noted that there are several teams that will have soccer players who were born in America in their squads. It is no secret to anyone that the nationalized players have an important role and, at times, they are decisive in these tournaments. 

Nicholas Hämäläinen

The city of West Palm Beach, United States, gave birth to Nicholas, whose father is originally from Finland . The defender went through the U18, U19 and U21 categories of the Finish team, but was also called up by the United States U23. With the possibility of representing both countries, the current Queens Park Rangers player made his European debut in a UEFA Nations League match in 2020.

Raheem Sterling

The present of England passes through the feet of this player born in Kingston, Jamaica . At an early age he emigrated to the UK and began his soccer career with the Queens Park Rangers Academy. The now Manchester City attacker went through all the lower categories of the English team until making his debut in 2012 with the Absolute team in a friendly match.

Also read: Carlos Tévez: one of the best Latin American soccer players of the last decades

Jorginho

Although Jorge Luiz Frello Filho was born in the Brazilian municipality of Imbituba, his soccer life began in Italy with the minor categories of Hellas Verona. The current Chelsea FC midfielder was called up in 2012 to play for the Italian Under-21 and it was not until four years later that Antonio Conte called him up to the National Team.

Emerson

Emerson Palmieri dos Santos was born in the popular state of São Paulo, a defender who made his debut for Santos FC at age 17 . Although in 2011 he represented Brazil's under-17s in a South American tournament and the subsequent World Cup, the coach Giampiero Ventura offered him to acquire Italian citizenship to be able to play for the azurra in 2017. He currently plays in England with Chelsea FC.

Rafael Tolói

Born in the state of Mato Grosso (Brazil), the defender's career began in Brasileirão with the Goiás and São Paulo clubs until he made the leap to Serie A in Italy with Roma and, later, Atalanta. Although he represented the Canarinha U-20 in the 2009 World Cup, he acquired Italian citizenship in 2021 and obtained permission from FIFA to play for Italy.

Pepe

Képler Laverán Lima Ferreira was born in the Maceió municipality, Brazil , but he is one of the current icons of Portugal. His career began at Corinthians Alagoano in his hometown and was later transferred to various Portuguese teams. This solid central defender from Porto made his debut for the national team in 2007 in an official competition match.

Mario Fernándes

Another of the figures from São Paulo. Mário Figueira Fernandes began his soccer career with the Gremio , where he played for four seasons until he signed for CSKA Moscow -his current club- in 2012. Although he played a friendly match with the Canarinha in 2014, the defender obtained Russian nationality in 2016 to debut with his team the following year .

Marlos

Ukraine and Brazil have always had a soccer connection and Marlos Romero Bonfim is another example of this. Born in São José dos Pinhais, the current Shakhtar Donetsk winger received his first call-up with the European team in 2017 in a friendly match. Its beginnings were with Coritiba and São Paulo until he made the leap to Ukraine in 2012.

Thomas Lemar

Guadalupe is an archipelago and French dependency of Insular America , as well as the birthplace of the Atlético de Madrid midfielder. As expected, Lemar emigrated to France to pursue his soccer career, training at Caen . He made his debut with the French national team in 2017 and was part of the 2018 World Cup winner squad.

Mike Maignan

A more than obvious case for the AC Milan goalkeeper. When he was born in French Guiana, Maignan's career must have started in France , where he trained in the minor categories of PSG. The son of a Haitian mother and French father went through all the youth teams until he debuted with the national squad in 2020 in a friendly match.