Only one player has ever pulled on the blue and white of Reading as well as the yellow and green of five-time World Cup winners Brazil - Lucas Piazon. Well, pretty much. The Sao Paulo-born forward has represented his country from Under 17 level to Under 23 level, but never for the senior side.
He signed on a season-long loan with the Royals in the summer of 2015, appearing in 22 games in all competitions, scoring five goals. Along with Ola John, his name helped form what the Telegraph named as the Championship’s best chant of the year.
Since then, Piazon has spent the last two campaigns with Fulham (the fifth loan club of his career, he is still officially registered to Chelsea), netting 12 times in 58 appearances to help the Cottagers reach the Championship play-offs two years in a row. It’s also worth noting a mutual hatred seems to have developed between Piazon and sections of the Reading fanbase, but we won’t go into that...
Next up is a man who has been contracted to Reading for the last two years but is still yet to kick a ball for the first team and has more red cards than goals for the Under 23s. It’s Sandro Wieser. The Lichtenstein international is certainly a candidate for Reading’s worst ever signing, and has spent the last year on loan at Belgian second tier side KSV Roeselare. What has he got to do with Switzerland? Wieser joined the Royals from Swiss side FC Thun, where he had spent a season, scoring three times in 24 outings.
The 25-year-old has also previously played on loan for another Swiss team, FC Aarau, in 2014/15. In November of that season, his knee high challenge on FC Zurich’s Gilles Yapi-Yapo not only led to a straight red card but also Zurich Ancillo Canepa president launching legal proceedings against Wieser after fears that Yapi-Yapo would never play again. Some rumours suggest that he may be set for a return to Aarau this summer, so midfielders of the Swiss Super League better watch out.
Away wins in the Premier League were incredibly hard to come by for Reading in 2012/13, in fact we only got two all season. At Newcastle in the resurgent month of January, and at Fulham in May, when our relegation had already been confirmed. Still, it was a good day out on Thames-side as goals from Hal Robson-Kanu, Adam Le Fondre and Jem Karacan helped Nigel Adkins’ team to a 4-2 victory. The scorer of the Cottagers’ two goals? Costa Rican international Bryan Ruiz. Having also scored against us at the Madejski that season, it meant that over half of Ruiz’s five goals that season came against the Royals.
He would pop up again on Reading’s next visit to Craven Cottage two years later, this time inflicting misery on the travelling fans as he headed home a dramatic 93rd minute winner for Fulham. Pavel Pogrebnyak had earlier cancelled out Alexander Kacaniklic’s opener.
Luckily for us, Ruiz has been at Sporting Lisbon since the summer of 2015, whilst he’ll be looking to add to his 101 caps and 23 goals for Costa Rica as captain at the World Cup.
After scoring 22 goals on loan for Dutch second tier side Telstar in 2017/18 and earning a first call-up to the US national side in the process, Andrija Novakovich has been tipped for a first team breakthrough at Reading next season. The striker has already made his debut for the Royals, against Watford in 2015 as Steve Clarke rested several key players ahead of the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Bradford, but now could be his time to cement a place in the side.
Novakovich qualifies to play for the USA after being born in Wisconsin, but both of his parents are actually Serbian. It was the first language that the 21-year-old learnt as a child and he still speaks with a Serbian accent - one of his youth teams was even called United Serbians as many of the children from his town in the States were also of the same descent. “I am proud of my Serbian heritage. I do have a special place for Serbia in my heart.” he said in an interview with the Washington Post.