Rome: Inter Milan's Brazilian midfielder Thiago Motta was on Monday given permission by FIFA to play for Italy allowing him to make his debut for them against Germany in Wednesday's friendly.
The 28-year-old - whose ancestors emigrated from Italy to Brazil - had expressed his desire to play for Italy, where he has been based for the past three years first with Genoa and then with Inter.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli had selected him in the squad for the Germany friendly and was delighted to be able to announce that FIFA had given the green light to Motta, who had represented junior Brazil teams but had not played for the senior side.
"The permission from FIFA for Thiago being able to play for the national side arrived this morning," said Prandelli.
"I find it fantastic that players who aren't born in this country are demanding to put on the azzurri shirt.
"I call up those who deserve to be selected, and I am rising above the tirades over the multi-ethnic make-up of the national team, because those type of attacks do no good, not only for the image of our sport, but also Italy's."
Prandelli, who replaced Marcello Lippi after the debacle of their World Cup defence last year, has already selected a non Italy-born player before, Italo-Argentinian Cristian Ledesma.
The most celebrated crossover was Argentinian-born wing Mauro Camoranesi, who was on the 2006 World Cup winning side then coached by Lippi.