Mario Balotelli in action for Italy
With Afcon barely six weeks away, freelance African football contributor Ed Dove looks at the phenomena of Africans by birth who may, or may not want to feature for their countries.
In the build up to a major international tournament there is the inevitable recruitment drive of managers attempting to reinforce their squads and increase their options. The vogue among head coaches of African national teams has been to turn to overseas talent, and those with African roots, to supplement their sides.
Whilst the debacle of Equatorial Guinea’s recruitment scheme ahead of the last Afcon threatened to leave an ugly stain on the tournament, the calibre of players of African extraction performing for European nations at Euro 2012 demonstrated the genuine quality that exists among legitimate African players not playing for their respective African nations.
It was almost painful to imagine a Ghanaian starting XI including both Mario Balotelli and Danny Welbec...