Bayern Munich defender Rafinha snubs Brazil call-up
Bayern Munich defender Rafinha has withdrawn from Brazil`s squad for next month`s World Cup qualifiers amid speculation he plans to pursue an international career with Germany.
Sao Paulo: Bayern Munich defender Rafinha has withdrawn from Brazil`s squad for next month`s World Cup qualifiers amid speculation he plans to pursue an international career with Germany.
Rafinha, 30, was last week named by Brazil coach Dunga in the squad for crucial matches against Chile and Venezuela as South America`s qualifying race for the 2018 finals in Russia gets under way.
However the fullback said in a statement released on the Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) website he had decided to withdraw from the squad.
"I am not regularly selected for the national team, I am not one of the main choices for my position and there are others in the queue ahead of me," said Rafinha, who last played for Brazil in early 2014.
The CBF acknowledged Rafinha`s withdrawal in the statement.
"We respect the decision of the player, applaud his transparency and we are confirming the cancellation of his selection," the CBF said, adding that only players "fully committed" to representing Brazil were welcome.
Rafinha, who has represented Brazil twice before in friendlies, has played and lived in Germany for most of the past decade, joining Bayern in 2011 after five seasons with Schalke 04 between 2005-2010.
Earlier this month he announced plans to seek German nationality, fueling speculation he may make himself available for the world champions.
Germany coach Joachim Loew said last month Rafinha could not be considered for selection as he did not have a German passport.