Inform New Italian Striker Has Never Lived In The Country And Can’t Speak The Language

Inform New Italian Striker Has Never Lived In The Country And Can’t Speak The Language
Inform New Italian Striker Has Never Lived In The Country And Can’t Speak The Language

Italy’s soccer team has a new star striker who has never lived or played in the country and doesn’t speak the language. Mateo Retegui was called up to the national team for the first time and scored in his debut against England. He went on to score in his second game against Malta as well. The 23-year-old was born in San Fernando, Argentina, and played for Argentina’s Under 19 and Under 20 teams. However, he qualifies to play for Italy through his maternal grandfather, who is from Sicily.

Retegui currently plays for Club Atletico Tigre, where he has scored 29 goals in 51 games across all competitions. His form caught the attention of Azzurri boss Roberto Mancini, who previously believed that only those born in Italy should play for the nation. However, Mancini changed his tune and recognized that the world has changed. “Every national team in Europe and in the world generally have players coming from abroad or originally from other nations,” he said.

Retegui’s success has also caught the attention of Premier League clubs. Brighton and Crystal Palace are reportedly keeping tabs on the young striker. It remains to be seen whether Retegui will continue his success in Italy or seek a new challenge abroad.

Retegui’s story is not unique. In recent years, more and more players have been representing national teams of countries they were not born in or have no familial connections to. This phenomenon, known as “sporting nationalism,” raises questions about identity and belonging in an increasingly globalized world.

Malta 0-2 Italy: Retegui delivers again as Azzurri dominate

Sporting nationalism is not a new concept. Athletes have been representing countries other than their own for centuries. In the 19th century, British imperialists spread sports like cricket and football to their colonies, and local players began representing their colonizers in international competitions. In the 20th century, athletes from the Soviet Union and other communist countries represented the Soviet bloc in the Olympics and other international competitions, regardless of their ethnic or national identities.

However, sporting nationalism has become more widespread and controversial in recent years. Globalization and immigration have made it easier for athletes to represent countries other than their own. Some countries have also relaxed their eligibility criteria to attract talent. For example, Qatar’s national soccer team has several players who were not born or raised in the country but have Qatari citizenship through their parents or grandparents.

Sporting nationalism raises questions about what it means to be a citizen and a member of a national community. In many countries, citizenship is still tied to blood and ancestry, making it difficult for immigrants and their descendants to fully integrate into society. Representing a national sports team can be a way for these individuals to feel a sense of belonging and identity in their adopted country.

Retegui earns Batistuta comparison from Italy coach Mancini

However, sporting nationalism can also be seen as a form of opportunism and exploitation. Some athletes switch national teams based on where they are more likely to win or earn more money. Others represent countries that they have little connection to in order to further their careers.

Sporting nationalism also raises questions about the nature of sports themselves. Are sports meant to be a reflection of national identity and culture, or are they a universal human activity that transcends borders and divisions? The answer may depend on the sport and the context. Some sports, like soccer and basketball, have become global phenomena with fans and players from all over the world. Other sports, like baseball and American football, are still predominantly played and watched in certain countries.

Ultimately, the rise of sporting nationalism reflects the complex and evolving nature of identity and belonging in the 21st century. As people become more mobile and interconnected, traditional notions of national identity and citizenship are being challenged and redefined. Sports, like many other aspects of life, are caught in the middle of these changes.

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