International football is a field for national identity performances in which narratives of national belonging are articulated. Games of belonging capture discourses on and debates over national belonging. Up-and-coming national football team diversity, and its public promotion, was expected to facilitate boundary blurring in the politics of belonging; however, it caused highly contentious debates revolving around the question of who belongs to Germany and Turkey and who does not. For this reason, we ask how (ethnoculturally) diverse national football teams challenge established narratives of national belonging and, thereby, trigger debates over national belonging across time and space. We compared the media discourse on national team diversity in Germany and Turkey with a special focus on players who disrupt conceptions of ethnic and cultural homogeneity, namely Mesut Özil and Nuri Şahin. Our study illustrates that upcoming international football events constitute games of belonging. Actors from the media, football associations, and politics largely demanded unilateral national belonging from the disrupters, Özil and Şahin. Both players’ reactions, however, draw on conceptions of (trans-)national belonging which challenge and conflict with established narratives of (ethno-)national belonging.