Bayern Munich right-back Rafinha has rejected a call-up to the Brazil squad for October’s World Cup qualifiers.
The 30-year-old was set to make his first appearance for his country since March 2014, when former coach Luiz Felipe Scolari included him in the squad that faced South Africa in Johanessburg in what was the Selecao’s last Brasil Global Tour date prior to World Cup 2014.
Alongside Real Madrid’s Danilo and Barcelona’s Dani Alves, Rafinha earned his first call-up under current coach Dunga last week and immediately took to social media to celebrate his return to the international game.
“It’s a wonder to able to return to serve the Brazilian team! I am so happy with the call,” he Tweeted.
— Rafinha Official (@R13_official) September 17, 2015
But the former Schalke and Genoa man then shocked the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) by informing them that he will not be accepting the invitation to the squad for the clashes with Chile and Venezuela next month.
“I am not regularly called up. I am not one of the main options for my position, considering that there are other professionals in front of me,” Rafinha explained via a brief statement on the CBF website.
Rafinha was expected to be second choice to Monaco’s Fabinho, who started in Brazil’s 4-1 Chevrolet brasil Global Tour victory over USA earlier this month, but the governing body have accepted his choice.
“We respect the player’s decision, commend his transparency and we are cancelling the call-up of Rafinha,” confirmed the CBF.
“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.”
Rafinha has registered Germany as his official home since 2005 and is currently seeking German citizenship and has expressed an interest in representing the national team.
He has been capped twice by Brazil at senior level, but only in friendly matches. He also appeared for Brazil at the 2005 Fifa U-20 World Cup and the 2008 Olympic Games.
Rafinha is expected to seek clearance from Fifa to switch his international allegiance to the current World champions, who have found the full-back position a problem after the international retirement of Philipp Lahm.