Today it's Catanha's birthday, 43, do you know how many players born abroad have worn the Spain jersey?

Ciudad del Fútbol 06 Mar 2016
He's one of the many players who was not born in Spain, but who defended the team's colours in international competition. Have a look at the rest!

Vicente del Bosque knows that and has stated it at the call up press conference: "There have been precedents of players not born in Spain who have played with the Spanish Natioanl Team and that in the future there will be new cases. No one choses where they're born. The National Team is not a closed case and they're all well recieved."

And precisely, there are many former cases of players not born in Spain who have worn the Spanish National Team shirt. Nearly 40, among whom 13 were born in Argentina (Arbide, Errazquin, Sagibarba, Rial, Di Stéfano, Gárate, Touriño, Valdez, Roberto Martínez, Rubén Cano, Heredia, Pizzi and Pernía).

There are also players who were born in Cuba like Arencibia and Alonso, from Paraguay like Jara and Eulogio Martínez. There are Brazilians too like Becerra, Donato, Catanha and Senna.
Many of them were born in former Spanish colonies liek José Luis, Ramos and López Ufarte (in Morrocco), Galatas and Alcántara (in the Philipines) and Álvaro (Equatorial Guinea). 

There are fewer players who were born in Europe who've worn the shirt. This is the case of Pier and Thiago (born in Italy), Armando (in France), Luis Cembrados (in Switzerland), Ramón de Zabalo (in the UK) and Curo Torres (in Germany). 

There's also the case of Gerardo, born in current Mauritania when it was part of the French colony.

Of all the precedents, there are several special cases, those who were not only bron in this country but who had played in another National Team before doing so in Italy.

The first case was that of Paulino Alcántara, born in the Philipines, who in 1917 played with this country in a match against Japan. 

Later, in the 20s, he was an international player with Spain, scoring four goals. It was in fact with the Spanish National Team who earnt the nickname "Romperedes". It was in 1922, in a game between Spain and France, when his shot was so strong that it pierced the net. 

Years later José Emilio SantamaríaUruguayan with Galician parents, was an player for both Uruguay and Spain. Between 1952 and 1957 he played twenty matches with the World Champion at the time and in 1958 and 1962 he played another 16 with the Spanish National Team.

" I lived next to the Centenario stadium, which meant that on Saturday and Sunday I watched football. Uruguay had been Olympic and World Champion, meaning that the football project had become first priority in the country. Although there were difficult moments because a war had started in Europe and South American football had been isolated with the Euro, which were both who lead at the moment," recalled Santamaría for RFEF's radio.

That time also includes the cases of Frenec Puskas who worn Hungary's jersey before playing here and Ladislao Kubala who was a player in three countries: Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Spain.

In the 60s the most outstanding case is that of Eulogio Martínez, who played for Paraguay on eight occasions and then took part in the Chile World Cup with Spain. The paper ABC Color in Paraguay he recalled the reason for the 25 anniversary of his death: "He shone in Paraguay, in South America and even more when he arrived in Barcelona. Eulogio Martínez, "Coquito" to his friends and family, was one of the two Paraguayans who have taken part in a two national sides at a World Cup: "that in Spain, in Chle in 1962."

Later it was the case of Heriberto Herrera, chosen as best player of the Copa América in 1953, with Paraguay and played a game with the National Team in 1967, against Switzerland.

The most recent case is that of Thomas Christiansen who played for the youth squads in Denmark and in the 90s with Javier Clemente's national team. They were two games in 1993 where he wore the shirt.

"I like how Christiansen. I like his style. He's quick capable, aggresive. He's a striker in the right conditions which you don't usually see on the pitch. There is no team in the first division which appears, said the coach in 1993.

Christiansen, born in Copehaguen, of Danish father and Spanish mother, played for a sister team of Barcelona, team which he signed with in 1991, from the BK 1903 in Denmark. When he became international he had not made his debut with the first team, he played in Second Division, where he was one of the top scorers.

Now could be the turn, if the coach Vicente del Bosque considers it, of Diego Costa who has emphasized his desire to play with Spain: “This country has given me everything. Here I feel highly valued for the work I do every day and feel the affection of people”.
There have been also the case of Spanish players who have worn the jersey of other National teams. Among the first World Champions in Uruguay 1930 played Pedro José Cea, who was born in Redondela (Galicia) in 1900.
Jeffren for example, after playing in the U21 Spanish team, agreed to do so in the National team in Venezuela, or Benjamin, who also played in the U21 and ended in the National team of Equatorial Guinea.
Amorebieta after playing in the U19 and after being called up in August 2008 by Vicente del Bosque, ended in the National team of Venezuela, the same as Jeffren, which could debut with the South American team after playing in the U21 Spanish side, or Julio Álvarez (U17 international with Spain and with Venezuela).
Similar case is the one of Gonzalo Castro, son of Spanish, born in Germany, who after playing with the U19 Spanish preferred to do it with the German ensemble.
Finally, Valdo, born in Leon but of Cabo Verde parents, played with the U21 in 2003 but finished in National team of this African country.