When Brazilians turned up for other nations

Former Barcelona player Deco, was Brazilian by birth but acquired Portuguese citizenship following six years of stay in the country. Interestingly, his first game for Portugal was against Brazil when he came on as a substitute and scored the winner. Photo: Getty Images
Diego Costa is a Brazilian by birth, and the forward was called up only once for the senior team but never played for the side. This meant that Costa was eligible to represent Spain once he acquired a Spanish passport as he had not played in official FIFA games for Brazil. Losing Costa to Spain was a big blow for Brazil as there is no doubt about his ability as a striker and his position is one which could have been very handy for Brazil. Photo: Getty Images
Pepe became a naturalised Portuguese citizen like Deco after being born a Brazilian. Even before Pepe opted to play for Portugal, he was never called up to represent Brazil in any youth category. Pepe was contacted by coach Dunga in 2006 about a future call-up, which the player declined as he had already made up his mind up about joining Portugal’s senior side once he became eligible. Photo: Getty Images
Claudemir Jeronimo Barreto or commonly known as Cacau, was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Although he spent his younger days in Brazil, he was never called up to Brazil’s youth squads. Cacau’s performance for Nurnberg impressed Bundesliga giant VfB Stuttgart and he signed for the team in 2003 and played with Die Roten till 2014. In February 2009, he became eligible to play for Germany after acquiring a German passport, having lived in the country for over eight years. Photo: Getty Images
Born in Maringa, Brazil, Santos moved to Japan when he was 16. He played for the Gijuku High School team and signed his J-League contarct with Shimizu S-Pulse in 1997. Santos went to represent Japan on 86 occassions after obtaining his citizenship in 2001. The midfilder was part of the national side when Japan co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with South Korea. He started the round of 16 game against Turkey and was also part of the national side for the 2006 World Cup. Photo: Getty Images
Thiago Motta is yet another Brazilian who changed nationality to play international football after having played for Brazil in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. On 6 February 2011, Motta was called up to the Italy squad for the first time and two days later he was granted clearance and then made his debut for Italy in a friendly against Germany. He has now gone on to represent Italy at Euro 2012, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2016. Photo: Getty Images