Despite being born in Brazil, Inter midfielder Thiago Motta has indicated that he would rather play for Italy, the home of his paternal grandfather.
"[Playing for Italy] is my dream, I won't deny it. If the call arrives, it wouldn't take me a second to agree," Motta told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Thiago Motta has been playing in Italy for a year, joining Genoa from Atletico Madrid on a free transfer last summer, before switching to Inter during this transfer window. He insists that he already feels at home on the Peninsula.
"I have Italian blood, I feel Italian and I only ask to be considered as an option for a place with the Azzurri. I have always had the passport, even before arriving in Europe," he asserted.
"Of course, I want to earn any call-up on the pitch - I am not asking for gifts from anyone."
The former Barcelona midfielder added that, if Azzurri coach Marcello Lippi and Brazil coach Carlos Dunga were to turn up at his door with positions in their national teams, he would forsake the country he represented at various youth levels.
"Today I would choose Italy," he noted. "I have always been there for Brazil, I have played in various national teams, from Under-17 to U-23, but I never thought I could be part of the Selecao. Of course I always wanted to wear the shirt of Brazil as a child, but now things have changed."
After moving to Inter this summer from Genoa, Motta paid tribute to former coach Gian Piero Gasperini.
"Gasperini gave me a second life in football," he beamed. "I owe almost everything to him. He actually built the team and adapted it to my characteristics.
"[I chose to move to Inter because] they are one of the biggest clubs in Europe, because I can aim for the highest goals and because they have given me back the stage that some serious injuries had taken away from me."
Anthony Wright, Goal.com