13 Players, Including De Bruyne and Gullit, Who May Have Represented Obscure National Teams

Including stars like Kevin De Bruyne and Ruud Gullit

Football, often referred to as the “beautiful game,” has the power to bring people from different backgrounds and cultures together. The international stage allows players to showcase their skills and represent their respective nations with pride. While some players have had the privilege of donning the jerseys of well-known footballing nations like Brazil, Germany, or Argentina, there are a select few who have represented more obscure national teams. In this article, we will take a look at 13 players, including stars like Kevin De Bruyne and Ruud Gullit, who may have surprised you with their lesser-known international allegiances.

  1. Kevin De Bruyne (Burundi): Known for his incredible passing ability and vision on the field, Kevin De Bruyne is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world. However, if fate had taken a different turn, De Bruyne could have represented Burundi, a small African nation. De Bruyne’s mother is of Burundian descent, making him eligible to play for their national team.
  2. Ruud Gullit (Suriname): The legendary Dutch player, Ruud Gullit, played a crucial role in the success of AC Milan and the Netherlands national team. Surprisingly, Gullit was eligible to represent Suriname, a former Dutch colony located in South America. Although he never played for Suriname, it is intriguing to imagine how his presence might have impacted their footballing history.
  3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (France): Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the prolific Arsenal and Gabonese forward, has established himself as a top goalscorer in European football. However, not many know that he could have represented France. Aubameyang’s father, Pierre-François Aubameyang, played for the French national team, making the younger Aubameyang eligible for selection.
  4. Alex Iwobi (England): Currently playing for Everton in the English Premier League, Alex Iwobi represents Nigeria at the international level. However, the talented winger could have played for England as well. Iwobi was born in Lagos, Nigeria, but grew up in England and even played for the English youth teams before committing to Nigeria.
  5. Lucas Hernandez (Spain): Lucas Hernandez, the French World Cup-winning defender, could have easily represented Spain due to his Spanish heritage. Lucas’s father, Jean-François Hernandez, played for Atletico Madrid, and his mother is of Spanish descent. However, he chose to play for France, the country of his birth.
  6. Xherdan Shaqiri (Albania and Kosovo): Xherdan Shaqiri, the Swiss maestro known for his technical skills and long-range strikes, could have represented both Albania and Kosovo. Shaqiri was born in Kosovo to Albanian-Kosovar parents but moved to Switzerland as a child. He ultimately chose to represent Switzerland at the international level.
  7. Mesut Özil (Turkey): Mesut Özil, the German midfield wizard who won the FIFA World Cup in 2014, has Turkish roots. Born in Germany to Turkish parents, Özil could have played for Turkey. However, he decided to represent Germany and became an integral part of their national team.
  8. Ivan Rakitić (Switzerland): Ivan Rakitić, the Croatian midfielder who had a successful career at Barcelona, could have played for Switzerland. Rakitić was born in Switzerland to Croatian parents and even represented the Swiss youth teams. Eventually, he chose to represent Croatia, the country of his heritage.
  9. Antonio Valencia (Spain): Known for his blistering pace and versatility,