Brazilian football World Cup winner Mazinho has expressed sadness that his son Thiago is now playing for Spain instead of Brazil.
In an interview with O Globo newspaper, Mazinho accused Brazil's football confederation (CBF) of ignoring his pleas to stop the young playmaker from choosing his adopted country Spain in 2007. "I was very sad and disappointed. I represented my national team for many years and wanted my children to do the same," Mazinho said. "I am Brazilian and I'm proud of my country. Certain people that were in the CBF, are no longer there and Thiago can't play for the national team."
Thiago was born in Italy but has represented Spain since under-16 level. The 22-year-old, who has won four caps for La Roja, has been called up by Vicente del Bosque for Wednesday's friendly against Italy. His international recall follows impressive form for European and German champions Bayern Munich, who he joined from Barcelona last July for 25 million euros.
Mazinho represented Brazil 35 times and was part of the Selecao's 1994 World Cup triumph in the United States. He says he cannot bare the thought of choosing between Brazil and Spain during this year's World Cup. "I don't even want to think about it. I already have tickets for the final, but if it's Brazil against Spain, I don't want to go to the Maracana," he said. "I'll go somewhere else and wait for the end of the match. Deep down though, I still think I'll be rooting for Brazil."
The 47-year-old also defended Diego Costa's decision to turn his back on Brazil in favour of Spain last year. Likewise, the Brazil-born Atletico Madrid striker is in Del Bosque squad for the Italy friendly in Madrid. "I think if you asked Diego Costa if he preferred playing at the World Cup for Brazil or Spain, I'm sure he would choose Brazil," Mazinho said.
"That possibility doesn't exist now though and you can't waste an opportunity to play at the World Cup, least of all for a team like Spain."