TORONTO — The de Guzman brothers really need to get their stories straight.
Two days after Jonathan de Guzman all but closed the door on suiting up for his native country by saying he's committed to remaining with the Netherlands, his older brother Julian said he doesn't believe him.
“Honestly, I think it’s a bluff,” the elder de Guzman (above) said after Toronto FC training on Thursday. “I still have hopes that he will be a part of the Canadian national team. He’s yet to put on a Dutch jersey.”
That's the latest mixed message from the Toronto-area natives, both of whom also hold Dutch citizenship. Last year Julian, who has been capped 56 times for Canada, said Jonathan was looking at potentially suiting up for the Canadian national team after saying for years he wanted to play for the Netherlands, where he was a youth international and a youth product of Eredivisie side Feyenoord.
On Tuesday, however, Jonathan pulled a 180 on his big brother's comments, telling The Score television network that he's still hoping to suit up for the Dutch national team.
Jonathan is currently looking for a new club since Villarreal were relegated from Spain's La Liga this past season and he's also in the process of renewing his Dutch passport. Should the 24-year-old de Guzman remain declared as a Dutch international, that could potentially help another European club sign him without worrying about limits on non-European players.
“I could understand from the club point of view that he doesn’t have a club and he wants to make sure that he’s settled,” Julian added. “But in terms of international, nothing’s been confirmed. He hasn’t been called up or anything for the Dutch national team, and I’m still doing my best to bring him to the Canadian team.”
The elder de Guzman added that he’s seen and spoken to his brother every day since Jonathan returned to Toronto after the conclusion of the European season and is doing his best to convince him to suit up for his country of birth.
“I still try to get in his head to put on the red jersey," de Guzman said, "so we’ll see what happens."