European champion Rafa Silva retires at 29 ahead of World Cup

Portuguese footballer Rafa Silva, who won the UEFA EURO 2016, retired on Monday, two months ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“Today I informed the (Portugal) coach Fernando Santos and the FPF (Portuguese Football Federation) of my unavailability to represent the national team,” Silva said in a statement.

“This is an honest and right decision, at this point in my career,” he added.

The 29-year-old said he retired from international football for “personal reasons.”

The Benfica forward helped Portugal win the EURO 2016 and the 2019 UEFA Nations League titles.

The Portuguese football body said it respected Silva’s decision, and thanked him for the achievements.

Silva amassed 25 international appearances for his nation.

A Benfica player since 2016, he scored 64 goals and made 54 assists in 239 matches for the Lisbon club.

The 2022 World Cup will start on Nov. 20 in Qatar. Portugal are in the group with Ghana, Uruguay and South Korea.

Source: Anadolu Agency(AA)

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