Midfielder João Mário announced, this Sunday, the farewell of the Portuguese national team on the eve of Roberto Martínez announcing the squad for the games with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iceland.
“Given the stage I’m going through in my career and after deep, personal, thoughtful and honest reflection, I understand that this is the right time to say goodbye to the national team”, reads the statement.
A day after being crowned national champion with Benfica, João Mário said that “playing for Portugal has always been a privilege and an important honor”.
“A word of thanks also to the Portuguese fans who always supported me every time I wore this shirt. I will always be in the front row supporting the national team. It’s an emotional moment and I ask that you respect my decision.”
For the “quinas” team, the 30-year-old midfielder made 56 appearances and scored three goals, having participated in the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
João Mário was part of the first squad of the new coach of Portugal, the Spaniard Roberto Martínez, for the games with Liechtenstein, in which he was used in the final moments, and Luxembourg, in which he was an unused substitute.