Brazil legend Formiga retires after incredible 21-year career

At the tender age of 38 years old, Brazilian women’s national team legend Formiga has retired from the game after helping Brazil beat Italy 5-3 to win the Torneio Internacional de Manaus friendly tournament in her last ever match.

Formiga made her debut in 1995 at just 17 years old, and she went on to become Brazil’s most-capped player, appearing in 160 matches over the 21 years she represented the Canarinhas. She’s the only player to have appeared in every single Olympic Games since the tournament’s first edition in 1996, and she shares the record for most World Cup appearances with Japan’s Homare Sawa, appearing in a stunning six consecutive tournaments since 1995.

A regular since the age of 18, Formiga has been an integral part of Brazil’s midfield for more than two decades. The anchor in their midfield, she helped lead Brazil to their best-ever World Cup results, finishing third in 1999, and losing the final to Germany in the 2007 tournament. A consistent performer for her entire career, Formiga further underlined her quality by becoming the World Cup’s oldest goalscorer with a goal against South Korea on June 9th, 2015 at 37 years, three months and six days old. She retires with 23 goals for the national team.

Formiga won three Pan-American games with Brazil, but was unable to ever take home a major trophy, ultimately falling short in both the Olympic Games and World Cup. Even without the silverware though, she remains one of the all-time greats of the women’s game, and one of Brazil’s best ever.

Valeu Formiga!