Could Udinese Star Allan Marques Loureiro Abandon Brazil for Italy?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentOctober 10, 2014

UDINE, ITALY - AUGUST 31:  Allan Marques Loureiro of Udinese looks on during the Serie A match between Udinese Calcio and Empoli FC at Stadio Friuli on August 31, 2014 in Udine, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)
Dino Panato/Getty Images

Udinese's elite central midfielder Allan Marques Loureiro has been denied a chance to play for the Brazilian national team for the umpteenth time. 

Despite being one of the most prolific ball winning midfielders in Europe, Allan is being inexplicably ignored.

Could he switch allegiance to the Italian national team down the line? 

Brazil manager Dunga overlooked Allan by calling up Spartak Moscow central midfielder Romulo Borges and Gremio's Sao Paulo loanee Souza Dias as injury replacement players.

Corinthians central midfielder Elias Mendes "is likely to be given a chance in national colours," per Globo Esporte (h/t Robbie Blakeley at Bleacher Report).

Wolfsburg defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo is a big-name.

League OnlyAllanEliasGustavoRomulo Souza 
Tackles Per Game52.52.912.2
Tackle Completion %7571.2697591.2
Interceptions Per Game1.30.92.11.31.9
Passes Per Game5049.150.312.349
Pass Completion %80.782.486.483.885.2

Romulo has started one game for Spartak. Elias failed to make a lasting impression at Atletico Madrid and Sporting Lisbon. 

Gustavo's tackle completion percentage is six percent lower than Allan's. Souza's statistics are eye-catching, though he is not playing in an elite European league like Allan. 

In 75 Serie A games for Udinese, Allan has totalled 318 tackles and 120 interceptions. His productivity proves he is consistent and durable. 

Credit: WhoScored.com.

The last time a Brazilian national team manager valued Allan was Ney Franco.

Allan played 118 minutes—75 minutes coming in the 3-2 final win over Portugal—for Franco's victorious 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup squad.

Three years and counting since Allan represented Brazil in a competitive game. Ten of his teammates have now played for the Brazil senior team:

  1. Alex Sandro
  2. Bruno Uvini
  3. Casemiro
  4. Danilo
  5. Dudu
  6. Fernando Lucas Martins
  7. Gabriel
  8. Juan Jesus
  9. Oscar
  10. Philippe Coutinho

It is not like Allan is a rough diamond dominating the Azerbaijan Premier League. He is putting up world-class numbers in Serie A.

Statistics aside, Allan's action-packed, dynamic and frenetic playing style makes him distinguishable.

He has Arturo Vidal's engine and possesses a Juan Cuadrado-esque first-step.

Like Hoffenheim central attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino—who has scored 17 goals and registered 14 assists in his last 40 league games—it is baffling why Allan is not a regular for Brazil. 

In response to Diego Costa choosing Spain, Brazilian journalist Fernando Duarte made an astute point, per ESPN FC"Like many other unknown Brazilian footballers who headed to the airport before him, he [Costa] had many [Brazilian] backs turned to him until he became a good player."

"I feel valued in Spain, this is where my career began," Costa said, per Jason Burt at The Telegraph. "Everything that I am, I owe this country [Spain]."

What do Costa, Allan and Firmino have in common?

They have slipped through the cracks in Brazil and gained their self-worth in foreign nations.  

Dunga is taking Allan for granted like Luiz Felipe Scolari did with Costa.

"Scolari never called me by telephone," Costa said, per Sky Sports. "The only coach that I spoke with was [Spanish national team manager Vicente] Del Bosque who showed interest in me, invited me for a meal and made me realise that I was in his plans."

Costa has been playing in Europe since 2006, so Brazil had eight years to play him in ONE competitive game (instead of two friendlies), which would have safeguarded the Selecao from losing him to Spain. 

When asked about Costa's situation, teammate Thibaut Courtois spoke about the importance of not being pressured to feel Brazilian. 

"In Belgium there are also players like this who have to choose between two teams, some are Brazilian and play for the national team," Courtois said, per AS (h/t Dermot Corrigan at ESPN FC). "It depends where you feel you are from, it is something we must respect."

Courtois was referring to Brazilian-born Igor de Camargo, who "adjusted very well to life in Belgium," per Berend Scholten at UEFA's official website.

Why Italy over Brazil for Allan? 

Italy have a history of naturalising Brazilians.

  • Anfilogino Guarisi, also known as Filo (1934)
  • Angelo Sormani (1962)
  • Dino da Costa (1962)
  • Jose Altafini (1962)
  • Amauri (2010)
  • Thiago Motta (2011)

There is a framework of current Serie A-based Brazilians wanting to play for Italy. 

Hellas Verona's Juventus loanee Romulo Souza Orestes has been considered for Italy. 

Meanwhile, Napoli central midfielder Jorginho pledged his allegiance to Italy, rather than Brazil, his country of birth.

If Brazil continue to disregard Allan, he may feel more Italian in due course. 

@allanjianga

+allanjiang

Statistics via WhoScored 

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