(photo credit: )
Argentine-born striker Roberto Colautti joined the national team Wednesday after his eligibility to play for the country was confirmed.
The Maccabi Haifa player, who received temporary residency by virtue of his marriage to an Israeli woman, was officially handed his papers on Tuesday by the Interior Ministry.
On Wednesday, FIFA and UEFA confirmed Colautti's eligibility and he linked up with the squad ahead of two qualifying matches for the 2008 European Championship. He was called up to the team for its friendly against Slovenia on August 15, but the paperwork was not completed.
Israel starts its Group E campaign Saturday against Estonia and plays Andorra on Wednesday. Russia, Croatia, England and Macedonia are also in Group E.
The 24-year-old striker was Haifa's top scorer the past two years and is set to lead Israel's attack.
"I would like to thank all those who contributed to the fact I can now play for Israel," Colautti said. "The Israel Football Association deserves a lot of credit, I am delighted to join the Israel national team and would like to prove all those who supported me by delivering the goods on the pitch."