Report: Avellino's Rodrigo Ely and Livorno full-back Maicon turn down Italy to represent BrazilBrazil Head Coach Alexandre Gallo addresses his players during their match against Colombia in the South American Youth Football Championship at Estadio Centenario on 7th February, 2015
Avellino centre-back Rodrigo Ely and Livorno full-back Maicon have turned down the chance to represent Italy.
The duo, who currently ply their trade in Serie B, have lived in Italy since the age of 15 and reportedly had numerous invitations to represent the Azzurri.
Ely has actually played for Italy at under-19 [one cap] and under-20 level [two caps], but the 21 year-old admits he couldn't turn down the call from Head Coach Alexandre Gallo to be a part of his Brazil under-23 squad, which is preparing to compete at Rio 2016.
"I have played for Italy but when I was called up for Brazil's Olympic team my heart spoke louder,” he said, as reported by website xinhuanet, which cited newspaper Folha de São Paulo.
Ely has come to prominence this season as part of an Avellino side that is currently 6th in Serie B and competing for promotion to Italy's top flight.
The Lajeado native, who was signed from Milan in July 2014 after having loan spell with Reggina and Varese, has made 23 appearances in all competitions so far this term.
At Livorno, Maicon has also caught the eye with his performances. The 22 year-old - a reported €500,000 signing from Reggina in August 2014 - has made 13 appearances so far for the Amaranto, scoring once.