Italy plan to naturalise three Brazilians

Date: 26th November 2021 at 3:30pm
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Brazilians Joao Pedro, Luiz Felipe, and Roger Ibanez are expected to step away from their native Brazil and switch allegiances to represent Italy on the international stage.

The Azzurri missed out on direct qualification for the 2022 World Cup and they are hoping that the new additions can play a role for their adopted nation when the play-offs commence in March.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that a delegate from the Italy coaching staff has contacted the three players about representing Italy and the decision as well as their reasons to switch allegiances must be confirmed in writing and sent to FIFA.

Joao Pedro is a 29-year-old forward that has been a prolific scorer for Cagliari since he joined the club in 2014 whereas the other two are defenders.

Luiz Felipe is a 24-year-old centre-back that has represented Brazil at youth level, and he had been asked to represent Italy at Under-21 level but the Lazio defender declined the invite.

Ibanez recently turned 23 and he has been at Roma since January 2020.

All three players could join Italy coach Roberto Mancini in a training camp in January as preparation for the World Cup play-offs in March.

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