Amauri becomes eligible for Italy

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ROME - Juventus's Brazilian-born forward Amauri became eligible to play for world champions Italy on Monday when he obtained Italian citizenship at a ceremony in Turin.

"I'm happy and emotional," Amauri told reporters at the end of a frequently delayed bureaucratic process. "It's been a long wait but now I'm proud to be an Italian citizen.

"If I have the opportunity to wear the Italy shirt, I'll be the happiest man in the world."

The 29-year-old, who has spent almost all his senior career in Italy, is among the contenders for a place in the Azzurri's World Cup squad and coach Marcello Lippi has said he would be considered when the passport came through.

Amauri's chances have not been helped by his poor form over the last year for a Juve side enduring a miserable season and in danger of missing qualifying for next term's Champions League.

He is eligible for Italy as he has never represented his homeland. He was called up by Brazil coach Dunga for a friendly against the Azzurri last year but Juve would not release him because the request came too late under FIFA rules.

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