Brazil midfielder Formiga (43) has retired from international football after a record 234 caps, playing at seven Olympics and seven World Cups.

The Bahia-born player has decided to step back from the international game for the second time after retiring in 2016, only to be coaxed back two years later, having made her Brazil debut aged 17.

The 26-year career of the legendary number 8 is laced with two Olympic silver medals, in 2004 and 2008, a runner-up medal at the 2007 World Cup, as well as a third-place finish at the 1999 World Cup. Add to that collection three Pan American Games and six Copa América Femenino titles.

When Formiga was born, playing football in Brazil was illegal for women.

Formiga (Portuguese nickname meaning “ant,” given for a style of play), who left Paris Saint-Germain in June to sign with São Paulo FC (her first club) until December 2022, has spent time in Sweden, the US and France (where she helped Paris Saint-Germain to a first league title last season) around playing for eight Brazilian teams.

For the first time in her 26 years career, her mother, Dona Celeste came to see her play live.

“It was one of the greatest gifts to have my mother here this time. So many times I’ve dreamed of it. I’ve bought tickets so many times and she’s always bullshitting me, right?” Formiga on seeing her mother watch her play.