Brazil captain Cafu has confirmed that he will retire from international football after Sunday’s World Cup final.
When the Roma full-backleads out Brazil to face Germany, he will become the first player to have appeared in three World Cup finals – something even Pele did not achieve.
“It will be very satisfying to play in such a game,” he said. “I know that nobody has ever done it before and it will be an honour.”
The 32-year-old has made 115 appearances since making his debut for Brazil in 1990, including the 1994 World Cup final against Italy in Pasadena, and the 1998 final against France in Paris.
“After so many years in the national team, Sunday will be the culmination of my career,” Cafu said. “But what matters is that we beat Germany. We know that they have many good players and it will not be easy – no game against Germany ever is.”
FIFA are expected to present Cafu with a commemorative trophy to mark his achievement before kick-off.
“Cafu’s contribution to the team has been immense,” said coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. “He has played a key role for us.
“He has done everything I’ve asked of him and been my extension on the pitch. The job he has done for us as captain has been beautiful. He has sacrificed himself on the pitch for the younger players.”
Cafu began his playing career at Sao Paulo before joining Palmeiras in 1995 via a season at Real Zaragoza. He returned to Europe in 1997 to join Roma and despite speculation about a move away from Italy, recently signed a contract extension with the Serie A club.