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Brazilian goalkeeper gets Russian citizenship

23 November 2015, 17:08

Moscow - Lokomotiv Moscow's Brazilian goalkeeper Marinato Guilherme has received Russian citizenship, the club reported Monday.

The 29-year-old Guilherme, who has been with the railway-backed side since 2007, said that his decision to ask for Russian nationalaity had been a deliberate choice.

"I live here together with my family and we feel ourselves at home here," the club press service quoted Guilherme as saying on their official site.

"I'm happy to become a part of this great country."

Also read: Lokomotiv Moscow sack coach

Guilherme's new status will give Lokomotiv manager Igor Cherevchenko more freedom in selecting his line-up for Premier League matches as he will no longer be considered as a foreign player.

The league's existing regulations limit the number of foreign footballers on the pitch to six players maximum in Premiership encounters.

Guilherme added that he would be keen to play for the Russian national team if selected.

Earlier this year Igor Ananskikh, the chairman of sports committee of the lower house of Russian parliament proposed an amendment to the state citizenship law, making it easier for foreign athletes to acquire Russian citizenship.

Ananskikh said that the success of naturalized foreign athletes such as Korean short-track skater Viktor Ahn (also known as Ahn Hyun-soo) and US snowboarder Vic Wild, who between them won five gold medals at 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, was fundamental to his proposal.

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