thumbnail Hello,

Opinions are divided in South Korea after the national body applied for Jeonbuk Motors' Brazilian to become a citizen in order to play for the Taeguk Warriors

The Korean Football Association (KFA) is attempting to obtain citizenship for Jeonbuk Motors' Brazilian attacking midfielder Eninho to make him available for the national team.

The 30-year-old, who has made the K-League Best XI three times, has played in the South Korea since moving to Daegu from Coruripe in 2007, after a previous stint with Suwon Bluewings in 2003.

Eninho will apply for a special naturalisation citizenship whereby his talent needs to benefit the nation. To qualify for the citizenship, a footballer must have played in the K-League for five consecutive years.

KFA promotion director Lee Won-Jae told reporters that national team boss Choi Kang-Hee, who worked with Eninho at Jeonbuk before being elevated to the Korea job late last year, was keen to have the Brazil-born player available.

"Choi Kang-Hee and Eninho both wanted to earn the citizenship and we are trying to find the right way for it," Lee said.

"Now in Korea there are a lot of multi-national families, so if everything goes by plan, I think Eninho can play in the World Cup qualifiers"

In December, Suwon's Montenegro-born Dzenan Radoncic applied for a similar citizenship, but was recently denied having spent the second half of 2007 playing in Japan.

Eninho, who moved from Daegu to Jeonbuk at the end of the 2008 season, helped Motors to the 2009 and 2011 K-League titles as well as guiding them to the 2011 AFC Champions League final.

If the process is successful, the Brazil-born attacker could become the first naturalised footballer to play for the Taeguk Warriors.

Follow Ben Somerford on

Follow Goal.com Asia on and for the latest in Asian footballing news, features, and analysis

Related

From the web