Portuguese footballer Rafa Silva has shockingly announced his retirement at 29 from International football. The decision comes just a couple of months before the highly-anticipated FIFA World Cup 2022. He was included in the Portugal squad announced by manager Fernando Santos last week for the Nations League matches and would almost certainly have been in the World Cup squad. However, he has decided to stepped down from the Portugal National team.
Rafa Silva issues a statement
“Today I informed the Seleção coach Fernando Santos and the Portuguese Football Federation that I would no longer be available to represent the national team,” began Rafa’s brief message that he sent to the Portuguese news agency Lusa.
“I believe it is an honest and correct decision at this point in my career. I ask that the reasons I have made this decision, which are personal, be respected by everyone.”
“I represented the national teams 40 times, helped conquer Euro 2016 and the Nations League and I will always be in the front row supporting the team. I’m certain the Seleção will continue to bring joy to the Portuguese people, starting with the Nations League and World Cup 2022.”
At 29 years of age, Rafa Silva had racked up 25 caps for the senior team after making his debut in 2014 in a friendly against Cameroon under previous Portugal coach Paulo Bento. Rafa was in Portugal’s World Cup 2014, Euro 2016 and Euro 2020 squads, but he only spent 52 minutes on the pitch across the three tournaments.
The speedy front man has been in fantastic form this season and has netted 6 goals and provided 4 assists in 13 matches. He made a huge contribution to Benfica’s sensational flawless winning start to the new campaign.