Huddersfield Town midfielder Juninho Bacuna has announced his intention to switch international allegiance from the Netherlands to Curacao.
Bacuna, who joined Huddersfield from Dutch side Groningen in 2018, has previously been capped at Under 18, Under 20 and Under-21 level by the Netherlands, but will now represent Curacao at senior international level.
Taking to Instagram to announce his decision, Bacuna wrote in Dutch: “I want to announce that I have made a decision to come out for the Curacao national football team.”
The switch in international allegiance from the Netherlands to Curacao is one that has already been made by Juninho’s brother, Leandro Bacuna, in 2016, with the Cardiff City midfielder going on to make 28 appearances and scoring 12 goals for the Caribbean nation.
According to FIFA’s World rankings, Curacao are currently the 79th best national team on the planet and the ninth-best side in the CONCACAF (North and Central American and Caribbean) region.
By contrast, The Netherlands currently sit joint 16th overall in the World with Italy, putting them equal tenth amongst European nations.
I quite admire Bacuna’s decision here.
While he is a solid player for Huddersfield, it seems that in all fairness, it is unlikely that Bacuna would get too many opportunities to compete for the Netherlands at international level, given the calibre of some of their players.
By contrast, you feel that Bacuna will be in a rather strong position to contend for a regular starting spot with Curacao, which will also give him the opportunity to feature alongside his brother Leandro, something which you imagine will be a significant moment for both of them.
You do however wonder just how pleased Bacuna’s manager will be about him travelling all the way to the Caribbean and back during every international break, given the impacts of jet lag and being stuck on a plane for such a long trip could have on a player.