Bayern Munich right-back Rafinha has turned down a call-up to the Brazilian national team ahead of two upcoming World Cup qualifiers in October.
Brazil manager Dunga looked to bring the 30-year-old into his side which is thin defensively, as both Dani Alves and Danilo are out with injuries.
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However, Rafinha would still be behind Fabinho in Dunga’s pecking order, which led the Bayern Munich defender to opt out of the side.
The Brazilian federation released a statement saying they respected Rafinha’s decision, which all but ended his chances of being included in the national team moving forward.
We respect the player’s decision, commend his transparency and we are canceling the call-up of Rafinha.
The CBF believes that only players who are fully committed to the national team and our philosophy of work can be part of the group that represents Brazil around the world.
Despite enjoying a successful career in the Bundesliga with Schalke and Bayern, as well as a short stint in Italy with Genoa, Rafinha has only made two appearances for the Brazilian national side. His first cap came back in 2008, and then he had to wait six years before featuring against South Africa in 2014.
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However, both of those appearances were in non-competitive friendly matches, which according to FIFA rules, would make Rafinha eligible to represent another country. After living in Germany for ten years, it is believed he is looking to gain German citizenship and will try to earn a spot under Joachim Low for the defending world champions.
After long-time German captain and right-back Phillip Lahm retired from international play after winning the World Cup in 2014, he gave great praise to his Bayern teammate Rafinha. Lahm said he would recommend to Low that Rafinha take his place in the national side, which now looks like a real possibility.