Ricardinho, considered the best futsal player in the world, announced on Tuesday that he is retiring from the Portuguese national team 18 years after his debut.
“It is the most difficult decision that I am going to make in my sports career, but I think that we have to leave room for the youngest,” Ricardinho said, through tears, at a press conference in the Ciudad del Fútbol of Oeiras, on the outskirts from Lisbon.
– Portugal (@selecaoportugal) November 9, 2021
The 36-year-old player pointed out that he ends “in the best way this story and page written in the futsal book”, after winning the World Cup a little more than a month ago, which adds to a curriculum with a European championship and many individual awards.
“I feel that everything I had to give, I gave it from my 16 years until today,” said Ricardinho, who has 187 games with the Portuguese team behind him.
The president of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), Fernando Gomes, asked him to play one last game with the national team and Ricardinho said that he will do so “with pride.”
Ricardinho made his debut for the Portugal team on June 26, 2003, at the Algarve International Tournament, with a victory against Andorra, and scored his first goal three days later against Slovakia.
He has scored a total of 141 goals in his 187 appearances for Portugal.