Snubbed! Remember cases of players who rejected the call-up of the Brazilian team

Why are Diego Costa and Rafinha so insistent about not playing for the national team?

Representing their nation is a dream come true for the vast majority of Brazilian sportsmen. On the other hand, there have been cases when players have turned down the call-up and pursued a different career route.

In this article, Sambafoot will recall major occurrences involving players who refused to wear the Yellow and Blue and so lost out on the chance to defend the only football team on the planet to win the World Cup five times.


 After Brazil’s coach, Telê Santana, removed his comrade, Renato Gacho, from the World Cup controversy, Flamengo’s star right-back Leandro requested a cut from the 1986 World Cup, which was contested in Mexico.

Renato and Leandro had attempted to flee the concentration together, but only the first was successful. Because of his status within the organization, Leandro was pardoned. He requested to be withdrawn from the World Cup in solidarity with his buddy.

Diego Costa

image diego costa

(Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO / AFP) (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images)

Diego Costa won the Brazilian championship and the Copa do Brazil with Atlético-MG last season, although he had never defended a Brazilian team before. His whole career was spent in Europe, and as a result, he decided to defend the Spanish national team above the Brazilian one – he was even called up for a game before making that choice.

Diego started both the 2014 and 2018 World Cups for Spain. Furthermore, he is a hero for Atlético de Madrid. He just ended his contract with Galo and has since been without a team. Several injuries have plagued the athlete in previous seasons.


With notable stops in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Milan, Italy, Serginho, a left-back and midfielder for the Rossoneri, requested that he be taken off the Brazilian squad after winning the fifth world title in 2002.

He understood that he would not be able to start for the team at that time, as he was already 32 years old, and he preferred to focus entirely on his career only at Milan.

Zé Roberto

image ze roberto

(Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images)

Zé Roberto was a high-level player until 2017, when he retired from Palmeiras at the age of 43. However, when playing for Santos, he turned down coach Dunga’s offer to defend the Brazilian squad in the 2007 Copa América.

At the moment, the midfielder said that he was aware that his time with the Canarian national team was over. In 1998 and 2006, he participated in two World Cups.

Mario Fernandes

image mario fernandes

(Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)

Mario Fernandes, a former Grêmio prospect, was called up to the Brazilian squad by Mano Menezes in 2011. He was removed from the list after going days without responding. He then said that he did not want to participate since he did not feel prepared.

He was traded to CSKA Moscow the next year and became a naturalized Russian soon after. He is currently without a club. However, he represented Russia in the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020.


image rafinha

(Photo by Ricardo Moreira/Getty Images)

 Sao Paulo’s current right-back turned down a call-up from coach Dunga in 2015. He said that he was not the best candidate for the job. While defending Bayern Munich at the time, he was most likely hoping to be called up and become a naturalized German.

Mauro Silva

The Brazilian midfielder, who won the 1994 World Cup with his country, gained notice by declining to be called up for the 2001 Copa América, which would be held in Colombia.

Mauro, who was defending the Spanish Deportivo La Corua at the time, said that the South American nation was exceedingly dangerous (guerrillas were fighting) and that he did not want to participate there. He was taken off and never called again.

Matheus Nunes

image matheus nunes

(Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

 This is the most recent instance. Matheus Nunes, a Portuguese midfielder for Sporting, turned down Tite’s call-up in September of last year. He was born in Rio but relocated to “Terrinha” when he was 13 years old, and he claims to be more Portuguese than Brazilian.

Soon after, he was called up to the Portuguese national team by coach Fernando Santos.

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