Maldini backs Amauri for Italy

Amauri was born in Brazil but is set to receive Italian citizenship and could play for the Azzurri.

“This kind of thing happens in sport all over the world and in lots of other countries,” Maldini said.

“Some of our international rivals, such as France, Holland, Spain and Germany – not to mention African nations – have used players with dual nationality for ages, so why shouldn’t we pick Amauri?

“France won the World Cup in 1998, while Spain and Holland both won the European Championship in recent history.

“We mustn’t forget that we lifted the World Cup in 2006 with Mauro Camoranesi in the team.

“I think it would be great for Amauri to play for us and that he would be a valuable addition to the squad.”