Report: Italy consider calling up Ibanez

by | Oct 14, 2021 09:22

Roma centre-back Roger Ibanez could end up playing for Italy one day, as the Azzurri CT Roberto Mancini reportedly considers calling up the Brazilian.

If Mancini contacts the Giallorossi defender, the procedures for obtaining permission to wear the Azzurri shirt can start.

Ibanez has three passports, as he was born in Brazil, raised in Uruguay and has ancestors from Italy. He obtained the Italian passport before arriving at Atalanta in January 2019 and now Mancini considers taking advantage of the situation.

Ibanez refuses to rule out playing for Italy

The 22-year-old revealed his dream is to play for Brazil, but admitted he would consider it if Italy came calling.

He was pointing at Rafael Toloi, Jorginho and Emerson Palmieri, who are Brazilian-born players already in the Italy squad.

Il Corriere dello Sport reports his words didn’t go unnoticed by the FIGC and Mancini will evaluate if Ibanez could be useful to the Azzurri ahead of the World Cup in Qatar next year.

Mancini has focused on Lazio’s Francesco Acerbi, Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni and Atalanta’s Toloi as the alternatives to Juventus duo Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.

But the road to Qatar is long and the defensive insecurities were highlighted during the UEFA Nations League Finals, when Italy lost 2-1 to Spain and then claimed third with a 2-1 win over Belgium.

Roger Ibanez


  1. TSObhung

    Do Emerson better than Dimarco? I don’t think so.

    Do Ibanez better than Romagnoli? I don’t think so.

  2. Emeka Charles

    He will be a good addition to Azzurri’s squad. He is young, he s atlethic and he is tactically gifted.

  3. Bruno

    The player has said that “feels Brazilian” and that he dreams of playing for Italy. This should be enough to not consider him for selection for Italy. A National team should be nobody’s second choice or last resort. It sounds like the player is more concerned with boosting his exposure and market value.

    National teams should not be treated like a club in which anyone can come and go as they please. This only cheapens International football. The beauty of Internatinal football is that we see different cultures, different footballing cultures and their varying philosophies competing with one another.

    If every National team was flooded with players who were born overseas, don’t have any blood ties to the country they’re representing, didn’t come through that Nation’s footballing academies, have only played in a countries club football for 5 minutes (Ibanez has only been in Italy for a couple of seasons), and perhaps most importantly, players who openly profess to wanting to play for a different country etc, International football would become meaningless, club football without transfer fees.

    Selecting a player with Ibanez’ attitude would be a real slap in the face for players who born and raised in Italy, players that have worked their socks off in the hope of representing Italy, players that have have Italian blood and love Italy and ONLY want to play for Italy.

  4. Bruno

    The player has said that “feels Brazilian” and that he dreams of playing for *Italy


  5. Mike

    Mancini is anti-milan…this is one of the proof.

  6. Tony

    I agree with you Bruno.
    As soon as he sad that his dream was to play for Brazil, then he should not be considered for the national team! One would wonder how committed he would be to the cause.
    He would be another Totti, not committed to Italy, instead to Roma. When Totti said that the quarter-final of the Champions League was more important to him than the final of the World Cup; well that says it all! Disgraceful!

  7. Rosario

    The xenophobia above is stinking the place out.

  8. Bruno

    @Rosario, here we go with the labels. Do you have comprehension problems or are you deliberately misunderstanding myself and Tony in order to gasslight and push a false narrative? People like you butcher language, twist it and water it down, diminish its importance by foolishlingly applying incorrectly and all too frequently. I believe that you are projecting and in tryng to make others look bad, you have only exhibited your own foolishness and the darkness in your heart.

    The definition of Xenophobia is: “having or showing a dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.”

    Where exactly am I showing a dislike or prejudice towards people from other countries BECAUSE they are from other countries? I don’t dislike Ibanez as a person. I don’t dislike him because he comes from a different country. No. What I don’t like is when a player tells us that they ‘feel Brazilian and dream of playing for Brazil and then essentially say that they will consider sloppy seconds (Italy and Uruguay) if he cannot get his wish. I also don’t like it when a player has only spent five minutes in a country and says, with little reverence, that he might play for that country that he’s recently arrived in.

    Let me spell this out. i don’t have a problem with overseas players representing Italy if they love Italy. If Italy is their priority. Or if they have come through the Italian academies. Or if they have spent a significant amount of time in Italy; e.g Jorginho, Camoranesi, Emerson, Toloi…. Here’s another one for you. I would like to see Roma’s Darboe donning the blue jersey one day. Why? Because I like the love and gratitude which he has often spoken towards Italy. He doesn’t give me the impression that he’d treat Italy as a sloppy second.

  9. StefanO

    If he had an Italian name then Mancini would NOT be calling him. It’s like well he is Brazilian and therefore gets upgraded in quality.

    I don’t even think Emerson deserves to be a starter but it is what it is.

    Let’s start evaluating with out eyes please!!!

  10. Tony


    Excellently put!

  11. Francis

    Emerson for example rarely plays for chelsea yet Mancini will always call him thereby neglecting Calabria, Dimarco is miles away better than Emerson…I think he prefers Brazilians more

  12. Romano

    It would be very surprising if it happened, after the Italian league was filled with foreign players, almost all position lines of every club were foreign players, and now Gli Azzurri will also use foreign players, in the defender position, a position where Italy is the grandmaster over there for century.

    Sadly, after a shortage of world-class strikers, Italy will soon have no world-class defenders, thanks to the pattern of youth development and the freedom of the Italian league rules that made all of this happen.

    Meanwhile, Spain are starting to harvest their young seeds, France players are flooding into Europe’s top leagues, and Germany is always at the forefront of their football management system, if Italy and the FIGC don’t fixed the issues, the Gli Azzurri will be in crisis again.

    Sorry, I’m not against foreign players in the Italian League, but if the starting eleven of an Italian club are all non-Italian players, then what pride are they as an Italian club?

  13. Dan

    @ Rosario
    Yeah i kinda agree with Bruno here Rosario. Don’t think it was intended to suggest that Bruno doesn’t like oriundi playing for Italy. I’m sure the conversation (or comments) would be different if Ibanez had said “id love to play for Italy if Mancini calls me”.

    I just think that because he’s clearly articulated that Brazil is his primary option before Italy and Uruguay, then it kinda makes you wonder if his heart would really be in it for the Azzurri. Unless he has a change of heart/mind and he declines Brazil’s invite because he’s decided to opt for us then yeah, certainly consider him for the National squad.

    I’d personally would be much, much happier to see Mancini bringing through some of the younger generation that have been playing with say the Under 23’s or Under 21’s for a while before looking at nabbing a foreigner to commit to us.

  14. TONINO

    I totally agree with Bruno. If a player born elsewhere wants only to play for Italy and has Italian heritage like Emerson, Jorginho, Toloi, Camoranesi, Eder et cetera should be considered. If not, then they should wait for their preferred country. No hard feelings whatsoever. Lionel Messi should have listen to his grandfather who had advised him to have picked Italy. Shame Lionel, your grandfather knew best.

  15. NVD

    The idea of calling up players with dual nationality is no issue to me, if they are good enough and their are no comparable alternataives.

    It should not be, well they are eligible. Call them up. Gianluca Mancini and Alessio Romagnoli may not be starter material but they are better than Ibanez. Ibanez is not a Thiago Silva or Marquinhos level talent, he may not even be wortht of starting at CB for Roma IMO.

    Emerson getting caps when Biraghi and now even DiMarco can capably play at LB until Spinazzola is back. I’d prefer if Pellegrini, Udogie or Calafiori are fast tracked in. Calabria or Di Lorenzo can both play LB at a better defensive role than Emerson as well.

    Camoranesi was amazing and warranted a call up, but just giving away call ups means ending up with the likes of Amauri, Vazquez and Paletta who really only viewed Italy as a 2nd choice.

  16. Tony

    I have no issue as long as the players have Italian blood through ancestry. France, England and Germany have all immigrants with no ancestry ties to the country. Italy has s great history of orlundi players. Being born in a country should not be a right of citizenship. This is one thing Italy does well

  17. Jez

    Well said Bruno. Absolutely agree.
    I don’t even know why you should have to defend making a comment about a player who bascially said he would rather play for Brazil but Italy will do. If he isn’t good enough for Brazil then he most certainly isn’t good enough for Italy.
    I said many years ago that International football is slowly turning into club football. With national teams finding unique ways to change a players nationality even though the haven’t a single tie or loyalty to that nation. There are similar situations in many European national teams.
    If a player shows a love for a nation it’s one thing but for players to make it so very obvious that it is simply because they are unable to get into their native and prefered national team then they need to be left as far away from the national team as possible.

  18. dangerboy

    Ridiculous accusation by Rosario made to Bruno.

    Let me add Giuseppe Rossi who turned down the USA after repeated overtures and incurring a wrath by their small, but loyal following. Grew up in Italian football as a teen with Parma and ManUtd (iirc) played in the Under Italy teams, fulfilled a desire and dream to wear Azzurro.

    Ditto with Vincenzo Grifo. Born and raised in Germany but there was a strong desire and dream of him and his family to represent Italy.

    Also, these 2 (Rossi and Grifo) look like your standard Italian. Say nothing of their names. No, this statement is not xenophobic either!

    Roger Ibanez and Rafinha? Not so much.

    This is on Italian football for causing this severe shortage of players at the top flight.

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