DUISBURG, Germany, June 14 (Reuters) - Italy's Argentina-born midfielder Mauro Camoranesi admitted on Wednesday he did not know the Italian national anthem and referred to the Argentine anthem as his 'own'.
Asked by reporters why he didn't sign the national anthem before Monday's 2-0 win over Ghana, Camoranesi said: 'I don't even sing my own national anthem".
'I don't know the (Italian) anthem but my children sing it. At the World Cup though I am Italian, the decision to play in this shirt has been taken and it doesn't make any sense asking me whether I would rather be here in the Argentine shirt,' said Camoranesi.
The Juventus winger moved to Italy to play for Hellas Verona in 2000 and made his debut for Italy in February 2003 after gaining dual nationality.
Camoranesi, whose great-grandparents were born in Italy, has never denied he considers himself still to be an Argentine and when he was invited to play for Italy said: 'I have an Italian passport but that is not enough for me to feel Italian.'
The midfielder's call-up by former Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni was criticised in some quarters although he is the 36th player of dual nationality to wear the Italian shirt and the 17th Argentine.
There have also been nine Uruguayans and five Brazilians who have played for the Italian national side, a Scottish-born striker, Giovanni Moscardini who played in the 1920s and a South African, Eddie Firmani, who made three appearances in the 1950s.
At the World Cup in 2002, Italy's players were widely criticised for the failure to sing the 'Inno di Mameli' but after pressure from politicians most players now make an effort