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Why I’ve stepped away from the national team

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

I’ve stepped away from the national team since 2016. I was selected for the national team camp by the new head coach for the first two camps including the friendly match against the USA right before the Rio Olympics.

At the second camp after we lost 0-3 against Sweden, I told the new head coach that I would rather play only for the club team for a while, nothing more than that. But there was more than that. I could not tell her the feeling of truth, and she accepted anyway.

I stepped away from the national team with my own decision and without public announcement. Maybe I could’ve chosen to stay in a different way but I didn’t have energy and motivation to keep up with trying to make it a better place for the future.

It was a really tough decision to make. And I choose to be silent about it until now.

Why I’ve stepped away because I felt this is not the place where I was supposed to be. In Particular, we got treated like not professional players by the new coaching staff which was one of the biggest reasons I decided to leave.

There was no respect for players as professionals both on & off the field. There was no right evaluation for players. There were disrespectful things for human beings. There was no standard supposed be set up at the national team level. This lack of professionalism made me really exhausted. I don’t know how professional I am, but I’ve learned it through my entire professional career for over 20 years in 5 different countries by now.

And then I realized this is the way of the federation which they want to treat us, and I got the feeling that I should not be here. And also the other things were building up which I posted about it the other day as well. I lost the value for the national team which I used to have. This is what I felt personally and I was still 28.

For 7 years I’ve been silent. But I don’t want to be silent anymore. Because I noticed that to be silent doesn’t solve the problem. And I want the national team to be the most professional environment and they show the attractive performance with their professionalism which the kids and younger generations want to look up to, they could play there with respect in the future. And I hope they will have an impact on people around the world.

my national team debut in 2004

This is just what the value I have for the national team. And I believe that there are things that must be cherished no matter how the times change.

I was honored to represent my country and I was so proud of wearing the jersey, and it meant a lot to me. My soul and heart were always there.

I was so grateful to be surrounded by people who have great spirits on the national team since I was 16 for 12 years. The time we fought together was unforgettable. They made me feel so special. And will never forget about it. I will say again and again, THEY ARE SPECIAL PEOPLE FOR ME.


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