Inter’s Thiago Motta has defended his status as an Italian international. “It was the Azzurri or no one.”
The midfielder was born in Brazil, but his Italian ancestry allows him to play for the country where he now resides.
“I've always said, ever since I arrived in Europe, that I wanted to play for Italy,” he maintained to Inter Channel.
“For Italy or no one – I'd have stayed at home and rested otherwise. It was my dream to play for the Italian national side and I've realised it.
“I played for Brazil at youth level with people like Maicon and Maxwell, but I answered the call-ups out of duty when I lived back there.
“I haven't wanted to play for Brazil since I arrived in Europe.”
Motta, now 29, left Brazil in 1999 after he was snapped up by Barcelona. After a season at Atletico Madrid, he joined Genoa in 2008 and Inter a season later.
He was given his first Italy cap by Cesare Prandelli and he’s very much in the first team plans of the current Azzurri boss.
“Euro 2012 is one of my targets this year,” he added. “We have a great national team and I'm sure we'll go into the competition fired up and on form.
“Playing for Italy is very important to me and I want to play as much as possible.
“I just want to play football, both for Inter and for Italy, and even if that means making a few sacrifices then it's absolutely worth it."