At 29, Rafa Silva makes a surprise international retirement

Summoned by Fernando Santos, Benfica player Rafa Silva even declined his selection, formalizing the end of his career with the Seleção. A surprise decision, motivated by “personal” reasons, assured the winger of only 29 years.

It is a retirement for the less unexpected than that of Rafa Silva. Yet summoned by Fernando Santos for Portugal’s next gathering in the Nations League, the Benfica winger – in the PSG group in the Champions League – decided not to honor this meeting, even marking the end of his career. in the Portuguese selection for personal reasons.

“I informed coach Fernando Santos and the FPF (Portuguese Football Federation) today of my unavailability to name the national team. I think it is an honest and fair decision at this stage of my career. I asks that the reasons, of a personal nature, be respected by all”, explained the player, international since March 2014, to the Lusa press agency.

Devoting yourself “100% to Benfica”

A decision all the more surprising since Rafa Silva, selected 25 times with the Seleção (0 but, 5 assists), is only 29 years old and is part of the Portuguese rotation. Although rarely a starter in a dense sector: he was in the starting lineup 8 times, for 17 appearances. “I represented the national teams 40 times (including 15 youth selections, editor’s note), helped to win Euro 2016 and the Nations League (2019) and I will always be in the front row supporting all of our team,” he continued.

Rafa Silva has chosen to leave the Portuguese national team because he wants to devote himself “100% to Benfica”, meanwhile justified his agent, António Araújo, on Portuguese radio Antena1. In order to compensate for his absence, Fernando Santos was summoned for the first time Gonçalo Ramos, his teammate at Benfica. Portugal are due to face the Czech Republic on Saturday in Prague, then Spain next Tuesday in Braga.

Romain Daveau RMC Sport journalist

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