A solution for Canada's national team? Montreal Impact playmaker Felipe Martins says "Call me!"
MONTREAL – Either Felipe is a closet Carly Rae Jepsen fan, or he’s sending early messages to Canadian national team head coach Benito Floro.
“It will be two years that I’m here,” Felipe told reporters on Wednesday. “So in one more year, I can ask for the Canadian passport. You never know what can happen in life. I don’t know, you’d have to ask [the club] if I'll stay here.”
Felipe, who will soon turn 23, was born in Brazil but also holds an Italian passport. While Canadian laws state that a citizen-to-be “must have resided in Canada for at least three years (1,095 days) in the past four years” before applying to be eligible, the FIFA statutes would require Felipe to have “lived continuously for at least ﬁve years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory” of the Canadian Soccer Association.
Felipe could thus theoretically be available for selection in the later stages of Canada’s 2018 World Cup qualifying efforts.
“Why not? Why not,” asked Felipe. “If I have the opportunity to stay here, why not? If they call me, for sure I'll go.”
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And his head coach would look favorably upon an international soccer adventure.
“Well, they do need players like him; losing against Mauritania isn’t great publicity,” Marco Schällibaum said with a laugh. “I’m only joking, but we know that Felipe has the required qualities to play for a Canadian national team. It’s Felipe’s choice, but mostly the Canadian association’s as well. If both parties see an advantage in that, it would be an interesting choice for both.”