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Five Fulham players to represent South American nations

Written by Jack Stroudley on 4th March 2024

Photo by Gareth Evans - Licenced via Imago Images

Following Andreas Pereira’s call-up to the Brazil squad, Jack Stroudley looks at other South Americans who have played for Fulham and their country.

On Friday night, we received the news that Andreas Pereira had received his second Brazilian call-up. The midfielder would become the first player to receive a call-up to the Selecao while being at Fulham and this got me thinking about our other South American contingent and which of those were lucky enough to don their nation’s colours, so while we wait for ‘Money Muniz’ to cement himself as the next R9, here are a few other South Americans who used to play for Fulham and also represented their nation… And before people ask where Bryan Ruiz is: Costa Rica is in Central America.

Willian – Brazil

Let’s get the most obvious name out the way, another of our samba contingent, Willian was a key member of the Brazil side from 2011 in his Shakhtar Donetsk days all the way up to 2019 playing for Chelsea. He amassed 70 appearances during that period scoring nine times. Throughout this Brazil career he featured in two World Cups as well as three Copa Americas, winning the last of them in 2019 when he received a late call-up for an injured Neymar.

Willian hasn’t officially announced his retirement from international football but has said in interviews before he accepts it is very unlikely he will feature again given the quality Brazil have in those wide areas.

Fernando Amorebieta – Venezuela

While Amorebieta’s best moment in a Fulham shirt came for Middlesborough scoring in a play-off semi-final against Brentford, he did have an okay international career for Venezuela. The defender switched nation from Spain to the South American country in 2011 after failing to play a game for the European country and was awarded his debut in a 1-0 defeat to Argentina.

Amorebieta would play 15 times for Venezuela and did manage to score a goal against the previously mentioned Argentina. He was called-up the 2015 Copa America squad where he was sent off for a stamp in a group stage game against Peru. He would retire from international football four months later. Amorebieta is still playing football in the Paraguayan Primera Division for Cerro Porteno.  

Paolo Gazzaniga – Argentina

Gazzaniga’s international career is just like his Fulham one – short and sweet. The goalkeeper made one international appearance for Argentina coming off the bench for an injured Geronimo Rulli during a 2-0 win against Mexico in 2018. 

Hugo Rodallega – Colombia

A proper ‘streets won’t forget’ player, probably most known for his time at Wigan, the Colombian international more than held his own for Fulham. While the striker was okay for us, he never played for Colombia while in a Fulham shirt with his final appearance coming in 2011, that being said he did feature 43 times for his country scoring on eight different occasions.

He did once play in goal during the 2007 Copa America when first choice keeper Robinson Zapata was sent off and Colombia had no remaining substitutes. Rodallega is amazingly still playing football  now with Colombian side Santa Fe in the Categoria Primera A.

Matthew Briggs – Guyana

The most obscure of the lot, yes Matthew Briggs played for the Guyana national team. Briggs became our youngest-ever Premier League player aged 16 and while there was a solid amount of hype around the full-back, he failed to reach those expectations. His one goal for the club came in a Europa League qualifier away to Crusaders. He left Fulham in 2015 before joining a plethora of clubs, currently at Horsham FC.

More on his international career though, after going through the England youth set-up, he never made it past U21 level and changed nations to Guyana in 2015. He made his friendly against Grenada in 2015 and was called-up to the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup (despite being a South American nation, Guyana play in the North American confederation). He was given captaincy of the ‘Golden Jaguars’ in 2021 before retiring from international football in 2023.

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