Moscow, Nov 23 (IANS) Footballer Marinato Guilherme, Lokomotiv Moscow’s Brazilian goalkeeper, has obtained Russian citizenship.
The 29-year-old, who has been a part of this club since 2007, said on Monday that he made the decision to ask for Russian citizenship deliberately, reports Xinhua.
“I live here together with my family and we feel ourselves at home here. I’m happy to become a part of this great country,” Guilherme said.
Lokomotiv manager Igor Cherevchenko will get more freedom in selecting his line-up for Russian Premier League matches as Guilherme’s new status makes him no longer a foreign player. According to regulations, the number of foreign footballers on the pitch is limited to six players maximum in premiership encounters.
Guilherme said that he would be keen to play for the Russian national team if selected.
An amendment to the state citizenship law, which was proposed by Igor Ananskikh, the chairman of the sports committee of the lower house of the Russian parliament earlier this year, makes it easier for foreign athletes to get Russian nationality.
Ananskikh said that the success of naturalised foreign athletes such as South Korean short-track skater Viktor Ahn (also known as Ahn Hyun-soo) and American snowboarder Vic Wild, who between them won five gold medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, was fundamental to his proposal.