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Top 20 Soccer Players Who Didn't Play For Their Native Country

The nation in which a player represents is often the subject of debate. Players with dual-nationality obviously have tricky decisions to make, often regarding which country they feel a closer allegiance to. In some cases though, players use distant relatives or other such weaker arguments in order to play for a country which strengthens their chance of winning international honors, and it is these scenarios which are often frowned upon.

Despite being considered something of a recent issue, South-American born Raoul Diagne represented France way back in 1931. High-profile cases of players such as Ferenc Puskas, Luis Monti, Alfredo di Stefano and even Joe Gaetjens, who one might expect to see on this list are omitted. That is because despite playing for national teams other than their own, all these players did also play for their own national team. As indicated in the title, the list is reserved only for those who played for another national team and not their own, rather than both.

By native country, we simply mean the country in which the player was born. Some players on this list had very justifiable reasons for playing for countries other than their native ones, while others are a little more questionable. Here are the top 20 soccer players who didn't play for their native country:

20 Thomas Christiansen

via cules.dk

19 Giuseppe Rossi

via goal.com

18 Deco

via otrastardes.com

17 Nani

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

16 Jong Tae-se

via zimbio.com

15 Edgar Davids

via independent.co.uk

14 Eduardo

via 101greatgoals.com

13 Simone Perrotta

via zimbio.com

12 Lilian Thuram

via yallascore.com

11 Gonzalo Higuain

Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

10 Lukas Podolski

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

9 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

via fifa.com

8 Mauro Camoranesi

via amazonaws.com

7 John Barnes

Peter Robinson/EMPICS

6 Marcel Desailly

via fourfourtwo.com

5 Clarence Seedorf

via pinterest.com

4 Pepe

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

3 Patrick Vieira

Dave Winter / Icon Sport

2 Miroslav Klose

Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

1 Eusebio

via sportskeeda.com

Narrowly edging out Miroslav Klose as the greatest player to play for a nation other than their native one is Eusebio. The athletic forward is regarded as Portugal's greatest ever player, with only Cristiano Ronaldo in recent times forming his first genuine competition. Not just Portugal's but one of the world's greatest ever talents, Eusebio won 11 Portuguese titles and one European Cup with Benfica, scoring 473 goals in 440 games. Eusebio was born in Mozambique, but made his Portugal debut in 1961, going on to win 64 caps, scoring 41 goals and winning the Golden Boot at the 1966 World Cup.

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Top 20 Soccer Players Who Didn't Play For Their Native Country