Batista won 38 international caps for Brazil from April 1978 to June 1983, but did not score a goal. He played also in two editions of the FIFA World Cup, in 1978 and 1982. In the 1978 tournament, Batista played throughout all seven of Brazil’s matches, with the team not losing a single match, and only conceding three goals. Brazil failed to qualify for the final on goal difference.
In 1982, Batista was a reserve. He played once as a substitute for Zico, coming on in the final minutes against Argentina. Famously, Diego Maradona was sent off for his foul on Batista after Batista had flattened Juan Barbas.