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Foreign players on national teams - good or bad?

View Poll Results: A foreigner wants to represent your country
I like it 8 42.11%
I don't care/No opinion about it 2 10.53%
I don't like it 9 47.37%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
10-10-2013, 12:17 AM
  #1
robwangjing
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Foreign players on national teams - good or bad?

There was some article about an English football player that stated that he did not want a foreigner on the English national team. He only wanted English born players to be able to play there.

I on the other hand would be very flattered if a foreigner would be willing to represent China in any sport. To me it warms my heart if someone is willing to 'fight' for China. So I am the absolute opposite to that English football player.

So my question here is, what is your opinion about foreign players on 'your' national team?

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10-10-2013, 01:25 AM
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Sokil
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Don't like it, because it becomes less about the country, and that nation's players, and who they actually produced for the world.....vs. just another free-agent team sport

I remember back to the Olympics where I think it was Georgia had a volleyball team made up of Brazilians. What a joke.

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10-10-2013, 02:04 AM
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Fight for your country usually mean, that the player in question in 99% cases is not good to make the NT of his own country, he would of fight for if given a chance. A lot of times he can squeeze out some financial gain from that as well, so I see them as mercenaries really.

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10-10-2013, 02:07 AM
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I had not heard of that Georgian team before, but it sounds insane.

I do have some criterias that I think an athlete should live up to if he/she wants to represent another nation.

1. The athlete should do it because he wants to help the country and likes the country.
2. Should speak the language to some degree and preferably be willing to learn it as fluent as possible.
3. Be willing to help the new country like other athletes help their own country. For example become a coach or help with junior development after and/or during their professional careers.
4. Wants to live in their 'new' country or end their career there if they have a better job abroad that they will benefit of they can be abroad.

In the case of Georgia above I think they will just play and leave. Have no plans of helping with development and no real heart for Georgia. I don't think they speak or have any intention to learn the language either. So I agree with you Sokil on that point, it's not nice.

So for example, a Korean football player wants to represent China, he speaks a little Chinese and wants to live here. I am 100% positive to this.

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10-10-2013, 04:43 AM
  #5
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I've always had the opinion that a national team should be made of players coming out of its own development program.

France is the perfect example of both what should be and shouldn't be done. They got a lot of Canadian trained players eligible to ice a decent team for the 92 Olympics, got them some results until 95, then everything went down when those players retired. Then between 2000 and 2007 they managed to play just once in the top division, but big changes in their program now provide a regular supply of homegrown players and they haven't been relegated since returning to the top division in 2008. Now it's fair to say they are above teams like Austria or Kazakhstan, and even caught up with Belarus and Denmark.

Italy on the other hand had the same strategy in the 90's, but never changed their way and are now going up and down pretty much every year.

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Old
10-10-2013, 06:26 AM
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Croatian members of this boards should be very active in this topic

Croatia is specific case...no good enough infrastructure to develop high-profile (at least stars for league like EBEL) players and we simply need foreginers (no matter with croatian heritage or not) if we want stronger NT. Because bouncing between D2A and D1B every other year is not very funny.

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10-10-2013, 06:58 AM
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ozo: Yes this could be true also, as in the case mentioned above with Georgia I can see it as very true. But in some cases, as you said 1% there are also players that choose to play in another country for other reasons. But I think it should be more than just 1%.

I don't want to see 99% foreign players on the Chinese national team, but I could see some for sure. If they meet my criteria. Maybe a good goalkeeper that could also help to develop young Chinese in the future. And could work with and help the Chinese national goalkeepers with mental training and also on-ice training. Routine and experience means a lot. And one or two defense-men, could help to improve the overall defense in the Chinese team, both with their own talent and also help the Chinese to make better decisions.

stv11: I can understand your point from one point of view; that it's better to develop your own players so they will be educated in the country's style of play. This is a disadvantage when a player is not developed at home.

But other than that I can't really understand and must disagree.

I don't think that if for example Austria accepts a German hockey-player to play for their national team, that it would affect the growth of junior players in Austria. Can you try to explicate how you mean?

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10-10-2013, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by robwangjing View Post
stv11: I can understand your point from one point of view; that it's better to develop your own players so they will be educated in the country's style of play. This is a disadvantage when a player is not developed at home.

But other than that I can't really understand and must disagree.

I don't think that if for example Austria accepts a German hockey-player to play for their national team, that it would affect the growth of junior players in Austria. Can you try to explicate how you mean?
Having the odd foreign trained player obviously won't hurt a full development program. If random facts of life make a player eligible for a new national team, it's not wrong to select him (although if I had my way the rules wouldn't allow this).

On the other hand, I have a problem when federations actively persue foreign trained players to artificially boost the level of their national team, like Italy has been doing for as long as I can remember, like France did in the 90's, like Belarus is doing now or like Croatia seems set on doing in the future.


Last edited by stv11: 10-10-2013 at 10:15 AM. Reason: typo
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Old
10-10-2013, 10:01 AM
  #9
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From my Canadian perspective, if a Canadian went to go play for the USA, (even if he weren't good enough to play for Team Canada) he would be viewed as a traitor, a turncoat, and a ringer. Many would be up in arms over it, as they were with Brett Hull.

The one case where I have no problem with playing for another country is where you have a pre-existing connection to that country, be it via family or ethnicity (if it's a nation-state), and what have you. If Paul Stastny wanted to play for Slovakia, that'd be perfectly fine with me.

now, from my Ukrainian perspective, we've had to deal with the Russian team poaching our top players for the past 20 years. Our local development isn't strong and the few that are good enough would always go to play in Russia not unlike American kids playing in the Canadian Hockey League for junior. The thing is, in this case, Russia has foreigner limits so almost always they force the kid to get Russian citizenship in order to advance their career. For the player there's little choice in the matter, you've gotta do what you've gotta do and I understand that; it's just scummy how Russia conducts business (but what else is new? lol)

Now as a backlash to this, Ukraine is poaching Russian players. Like the "Austrian playing for Germany" example, from a purely political standpoint I have no problem with a Russian 'coming home' to Ukraine. Russians are a big part of Ukraine historically, just as in the inverse Ukrainians are a big part of Russia - who ideally have no problem with the Kovalchuks and Tretiaks of the world...but I'm getting off track here (just trying to say there's a unique situation here vs. a Brazilian playing for Georgia, or a Canadian playing for Kazakhstan)

I digress: from a hockey standpoint I'd rather we focus on developing local talent and giving them their shot at the World Championships, even if we don't advance for a few more years - rather than lose their shot at representing their country to someone who likely no association with Ukraine, and is only doing it because Donbass offered them a good contract to stick around and become part of the program. But at the same time, nationalizing players may be a short term solution to helping the younger kids develop, obviously having foreign players on the KHL, MHL, or PHL team will help the other kids develop, and that's the main objective. If those foreigners play in Ukraine long enough, whose to say they shouldn't have every right to compete on the national team? Their presence at the club level is greatly helping national development, after all.

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Old
10-10-2013, 11:29 AM
  #10
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I think as long as you were trained in that country for most of your youth then you should be allowed to represent regardless of where you were born and where your parents came from

I don't agree with what the Italian hockey team do, playing Canadian guys who just played in the Italian league long enough to get citizenship, at least some of them do seem to have Italian heritage and last names, but then there names such as "Trevor Johnson"

It probably sounds xenophobic but I actually agree with Jack Wilshere's view on this foreign player, he's a kid from Belgium with Albanian/Serbian heritage who was poached by Manchester United and brought over when he was 16, I don't think he should be allowed to play.


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10-10-2013, 01:29 PM
  #11
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I think it really depends on the context. To use your country and hockey for example, let's say Brock Radunske, born in Canada, played in Canada and drafted by an NHL team has his pro opportunities in North America and Europe go belly up but, instead of taking his talent to Halla in the Asia Ice Hockey League, goes to the China Dragons.

He lives there like he did in South Korea, plays for years, makes an effort to learn the language and gains citizenship. His family lives there and it's pretty much home. He never played at any high level for Canada in international play. I'd have no problem with him representing China at hockey, and he seems basically no different that any immigrant going to a country. Once they get citizenship, they should have the same rights as anyone else there, including representing that country.

Now if Brock bounced between China and Canada in the offseason, made no effort to learn the language or culture, and seemed to be only taking the job because he couldn't cut it in Canada and there was no sense of national pride for his new country, that'd be a different story for me.

As far as having roots goes, sure it looks weird when you see a bunch of Canadian names on Italian jerseys (and it'd look even weirder to have a bunch of white guys suiting up for China and barking plays/calling for passes in English) but I think it's kinda xenophobic to treat someone differently because they originated from a different country. It should be about citizenship and if there's an attempt at becoming part of the culture.

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10-10-2013, 01:45 PM
  #12
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It depends on the individual situation. If a player has become a naturalized citizen and has or intends to make a life in the new country permanently, then by all means they should be welcome on the national team. What I don't like is when guys like Kevin Dallman (who accepted Kazakh citizenship to play for the national team) or Kevin Lalande and Geoff Platt (who just became citizens of Belarus for the same reason) use it simply to play internationally at a higher level, with no intention of living there once their careers are over (or even in the off season).

Then you get situations like the Israeli women's lacrosse team, where the entire roster was US born, raised and trained. Stuff like that goes against the whole purpose of international sport to begin with.

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Originally Posted by Propane Nightmares View Post
I don't agree with what the Italian hockey team do, playing Canadian guys who just played in the Italian league long enough to get citizenship, at least some of them do seem to have Italian heritage and last names, but then there names such as "Trevor Johnson"
I don't mind one or two players with dual citizenship filling out rosters of nations that have less developed hockey programs and smaller populations, but the Italians have always bothered me due to the sheer amount of imports on their roster. That being said, Trevor Johnston could have 7/8 pure Italian blood, with only his father being part Italian, part English while a guy named Giuseppe Vincenzo could be only 1/8 Italian.


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10-10-2013, 01:46 PM
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I think it really depends on the context. To use your country and hockey for example, let's say Brock Radunske, born in Canada, played in Canada and drafted by an NHL team has his pro opportunities in North America and Europe go belly up but, instead of taking his talent to Halla in the Asia Ice Hockey League, goes to the China Dragons.

He lives there like he did in South Korea, plays for years, makes an effort to learn the language and gains citizenship. His family lives there and it's pretty much home. He never played at any high level for Canada in international play. I'd have no problem with him representing China at hockey, and he seems basically no different that any immigrant going to a country. Once they get citizenship, they should have the same rights as anyone else there, including representing that country.

Now if Brock bounced between China and Canada in the offseason, made no effort to learn the language or culture, and seemed to be only taking the job because he couldn't cut it in Canada and there was no sense of national pride for his new country, that'd be a different story for me.

As far as having roots goes, sure it looks weird when you see a bunch of Canadian names on Italian jerseys (and it'd look even weirder to have a bunch of white guys suiting up for China and barking plays/calling for passes in English) but I think it's kinda xenophobic to treat someone differently because they originated from a different country. It should be about citizenship and if there's an attempt at becoming part of the culture.
This sounds fair enough, but it's difficult to prove so you can't really legislate or put in rules to prevent abuse of this. Sure you can make them take language tests but how will it work for Canadians playing in the UK or France who already knew the language?

Back in the 90's the Great Britain team was made up almost entirely of Canadians who just happened to have played in the pro league long enough to get themselves citizenship, and were asked by the powers that be to suit up for GB, most of them probably didn't even intend to get citizenship before they were asked to play. A large number of these guys then just buggered off back to Canada once their playing days were over!

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10-10-2013, 01:47 PM
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From my Canadian perspective, if a Canadian went to go play for the USA, (even if he weren't good enough to play for Team Canada) he would be viewed as a traitor, a turncoat, and a ringer. Many would be up in arms over it, as they were with Brett Hull.

The one case where I have no problem with playing for another country is where you have a pre-existing connection to that country, be it via family or ethnicity (if it's a nation-state), and what have you. If Paul Stastny wanted to play for Slovakia, that'd be perfectly fine with me.
I don't see how having a parent from one country is any more of a connection than actually living in the country for several years like Hull did (Hull also had a American mother btw).


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I don't agree with what the Italian hockey team do, playing Canadian guys who just played in the Italian league long enough to get citizenship, at least some of them do seem to have Italian heritage and last names, but then there names such as "Trevor Johnson"
What difference does it make if their last names sound Italian?

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10-10-2013, 01:53 PM
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I don't see how having a parent from one country is any more of a connection than actually living in the country for several years like Hull did (Hull also had a American mother btw).
I think there's quite a bit of culture clash with this issue. The USA is basically a country of immigrants, and has this culture where everyone who lives there feels "American" regardless of where their parents were from, and all different ethnicities are much more assimilated into society with each other.

In other countries, people feel a much greater connection to the countries their parents are from. Many people born in the UK to Polish parents consider themselves more Polish than British..

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10-10-2013, 01:59 PM
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What difference does it make if their last names sound Italian?
Because these guys have no connection to Italy apart from the fact they live there for 9 months of the year to play hockey

The Italian national team actively approaches these guys in their pro league to try to get them to play, It's not like the one guy who plays for Japan because he really wants to

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10-10-2013, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Propane Nightmares View Post
Because these guys have no connection to Italy apart from the fact they live there for 9 months of the year to play hockey

The Italian national team actively approaches these guys in their pro league to try to get them to play, It's not like the one guy who plays for Japan because he really wants to
He's right. How your last name sounds doesn't make you any less and more Italian. My surname is Northern Irish, my Father is 1/2 Northern Irish and spent his formative years growing up there, whilst my mother is English/distant Welsh. I was born in England, grew up in England, went to school in England, have never visited N. Ireland, have little real understand of the culture there. I may have family history in Northern Ireland, but it has no real connection to me and my experiences.

If Rick Johnson from Kitchener, Ontario, also happens to be eligible for Northern Ireland, what is the difference? My surname is N. Irish, but excluding that, i have no real greater connection to the country than he does. How your name sounds is simply a lazy way of avoiding context.

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10-10-2013, 02:18 PM
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He's right. How your last name sounds doesn't make you any less and more Italian. My surname is Northern Irish, my Father is 1/2 Northern Irish and spent his formative years growing up there, whilst my mother is English/distant Welsh. I was born in England, grew up in England, went to school in England, have never visited N. Ireland, have little real understand of the culture there. I may have family history in Northern Ireland, but it has no real connection to me and my experiences.

If Rick Johnson from Kitchener, Ontario, also happens to be eligible for Northern Ireland, what is the difference? My surname is N. Irish, but excluding that, i have no real greater connection to the country than he does. How your name sounds is simply a lazy way of avoiding context.
Having Italian heritage (and therefore a last name) definitely makes you more Italian than not having any Italian heritage

Just because you don't feel it, it doesn't mean it isn't there

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10-10-2013, 02:25 PM
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There is never going to be a truely accurate answer to this "predicament" anyway. The notion of what it is to be of a particular nation or culture is subjective. Some see nationalism as a stronger force than others. I always find very strong national views perculiar, since many seem to forget that what they view as their country now and the perception of a "man from this country" was different in the past and will be different in the future.

The most important criteria in regards to international eligibility should in my opinion should be the development years of your career. The least important ; your name.

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10-10-2013, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Propane Nightmares View Post
Having Italian heritage (and therefore a last name) definitely makes you more Italian than not having any Italian heritage

Just because you don't feel it, it doesn't mean it isn't there
Does it? I have no personal feelings to Northern Ireland. I have as much to do with Northern Ireland (and Northern Ireland hockey) as Betty Banana from Reading, Penn. If i don't feel it, it isn't there. My name can't feel.

A name doesn't transcend any connection or emotions. It's simply a name for administration purposes.

A player with no Italian name (or family heritage) who plays and lives in Italy for 4-5 years has less of a connection than somebody living in Canada with an Italian name who has never been to Italy (and doesn't live in an Italian community)? If Mr Pizza and Mr Hotdog both leave Canada at 23, play for 4/5 years in Italy and are eligible, in your eyes, Mr Pizza is more worthy to play for Italy because of last name?

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10-10-2013, 02:32 PM
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As far as having roots goes, sure it looks weird when you see a bunch of Canadian names on Italian jerseys
bear in mind they could have italian mothers, names don't tell the whole story

i know a former OHL player personally who is Italian and played in Italy for a few years and I'm sure if called he'd love to represent Italia, even though he comes back to Canada for the offseason and will ultimately live here

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Then you get situations like the Israeli women's lacrosse team, where the entire roster was US born, raised and trained. Stuff like that goes against the whole purpose of international sport to begin with.
An even more ridiculous example would be Team Israel's baseball team for the World Baseball Classic, where you don't even have to be an Israeli citizen to be on the team - just jewish / of jewish heritage

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10-10-2013, 02:34 PM
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I think there's quite a bit of culture clash with this issue. The USA is basically a country of immigrants, and has this culture where everyone who lives there feels "American" regardless of where their parents were from, and all different ethnicities are much more assimilated into society with each other.

In other countries, people feel a much greater connection to the countries their parents are from.
So why would Stastny feel any connection to Slovakia when he grew up in NA then?


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Many people born in the UK to Polish parents consider themselves more Polish than British..
... yet not one of them would turn down England/Britain to play for Poland instead.

There are dozens of star athletes who represented Britain/England while originating from somewhere else. There also have been many football players from France who represented other countries, but not one of them chose that country over France.

So the notion that immigrants are less likely to fit in Europe than in NA, or are more likely to want to play for the country of their parents, or that there is even a culture clash with this issue, is hogwash. Indeed I'm from Europe and adopted what you allege is a US point of view while the other poster is from NA and adopted the alleged European point of view.

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10-10-2013, 02:34 PM
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I don't see how having a parent from one country is any more of a connection than actually living in the country for several years like Hull did (Hull also had a American mother btw).
I don't mind Hull, but Canadians didn't call him The Golden Bratt for nothing. They (most of us) were livid.

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10-10-2013, 02:39 PM
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I always find very strong national views perculiar, since many seem to forget that what they view as their country now and the perception of a "man from this country" was different in the past and will be different in the future.
it's the concept of a nation, not the ties to a country. it's just convenient we have countries built around the idea of a nation and a territory belonging to a nation of people

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10-10-2013, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by J17 Vs Proclamation View Post
There is never going to be a truely accurate answer to this "predicament" anyway. The notion of what it is to be of a particular nation or culture is subjective. Some see nationalism as a stronger force than others. I always find very strong national views perculiar, since many seem to forget that what they view as their country now and the perception of a "man from this country" was different in the past and will be different in the future.

The most important criteria in regards to international eligibility should in my opinion should be the development years of your career. The least important ; your name.
I agree with you

As with your example someone in the exact same situation might feel the opposite to you, but it's impossible to prove feelings

I'm just making the point the system is open to be abused (In hockey most notably by the Italians and in the past Great Britain)

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