Before we continue with listing pioneering 'coloured' players by country, we need to establish what exactly we will mean by this term. Some may understand this term to include for instance, gypsies, arabs, american indians or other groups whose skin colour tends towards black. However, below we will understand the term to include only those of 'negroid' colour, though this may include players from 'mixed' families.
Over the course of time, more than two dozen national teams currently belonging to UEFA have included such players. Below we list all these countries and for each the first ever such player to appear for them. Obviously, the former major colonial powers have included most of these. The first national team in Europe to include a 'coloured' player was Scotland, with Andrew Watson, in the 19th century. Interestingly, neighbours England waited almost a century longer before fielding right back Viv Anderson. Ahead of England, Portugal and France included such players in the 1930s and the Netherlands in 1960.
Later, 'coloured' players appeared in national teams of countries with prospering economies attracting mass immigration, like the Scandinavian ones, Germany and Switzerland. More recently, so-called 'naturalised' players appeared, who were born in other corners of the world but obtained citizenship in European countries after spending a few (successful) footballing years there. As examples, we give Olisadebe (Poland), Batista (Greece) or Ndoumbouk (Armenia). Finally, there is the case of players such as Liverani (Italy) and Sowunmi (Hungary), who came from 'mixed' families.
One may remark that none of these players have been (or are) major stars, but all of them have earned the distinction of having been pioneers in their respective countries.
Country First Black Player Debut Date, Match; Number of Caps Armenia Balep Ba Ndoumbouk 18- 2-2004 Armenia 0-2 Hungary 3 caps 0 goals Austria Helmut Köglberger 5- 9-1965 Hungary 3-0 Austria 28 caps 6 goals Belgium Dimitri Mbuyu 4- 2-1987 Portugal 1-0 Belgium 1 cap 0 goals Bosnia-Herz. Ricardo Lago Santos 9-10-2004 Bosnia-H. 0-0 Serbia-M. "Baiano" 1 cap 0 goals Bulgaria Tiago Silva 17- 8-2005 Bulgaria 3-1 Turkey 1 cap 0 goals Denmark Carsten Dethlefsen 9- 3-1994 England 1-0 Denmark 1 cap 0 goals England Viv Anderson 29-11-1978 England 1-0 Czechoslovakia 30 caps 0 goals Faroe Isl. Sonni Ragnar Nattestad * 19-11-2013 Malta 3-2 Faroe Islands 25 caps 2 goals France Raoul Diagne 15- 2-1931 France 1-2 Czechoslovakia 17 caps 0 goals Germany Erwin Kostedde 22-12-1974 Malta 0-1 West Germany 3 caps 0 goals Greece Daniel Lima Batista 12-10-1994 Greece 4-0 Finland 13 caps 2 goals Hungary Thomas Sowunmi * 18- 8-1999 Hungary 1-1 Moldova 10 caps 1 goal Ireland Christopher Hughton 29-10-1979 Ireland 3-2 USA 53 caps 1 goal Israel Baruch Dego * 12- 2-2003 Israel 2-0 Armenia 2 caps 0 goals Italy Miguel Angel Montuori 15- 2-1956 Italy 2-0 France 12 caps 2 goals Luxembourg Eugène Afrika 10-10-1998 Poland 3-0 Luxembourg 2 caps 0 goals Macedonia Aginaldo de Jesus Braga 17- 4-2002 Macedonia 1-0 Finland 6 caps 0 goals Malta Chuks Nwoko 6- 2-1998 Malta 1-1 Albania 46 caps 1 goal Netherlands Humphrey Mĳnals 3- 4-1960 Netherlands 4-2 Bulgaria 3 caps 0 goals Norway John Carew 18-11-1998 Egypt 1-1 Norway 91 caps 24 goals Poland Emmanuel Olisadebe 16- 8-2000 Romania 1-1 Poland 25 caps 11 goals Portugal Guilherme Espirito Santo 28-11-1937 Spain 1-2 Portugal 8 caps 1 goal Scotland Andrew Watson 12- 3-1881 England 6-1 Scotland 3 caps 0 goals Spain Vicente Engonga Maté 23- 9-1998 Spain 1-0 Russia 14 caps 1 goal Sweden Jean-Paul Vonderburg 14- 2-1990 UAE 2-1 Sweden 4 caps 0 goals Switzerland Raymond Bardel 15- 4-1951 Switzerland 2-3 West Germany 2 caps 0 goals Turkey Vahap Özaltay 14-10-1927 Turkey 3-1 Bulgaria 1 cap 0 goals Wales Ted Parris 5-12-1931 Ireland 4-0 Wales 1 cap 0 goals
With thanks to Erich Ploechl and Baki Demirkiran
Prepared and maintained by Razvan Toma for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
Author: Razvan Toma
Last updated: 31 Jan 2019
(C) Copyright Razvan Toma and RSSSF 2005/19
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. All rights reserved.