Barcelona and Spain legend Xavi Hernandez has announced retirement from international football.

The 34-year-old midfielder made 133 appearances for the national team, scoring 13 goals. Xavi won the Fifa World Cup in 2010 and the UEFA European Championship twice with the national side. Xavi made his debut for the national team in 2000 and was named as the Player of the tournament at the 2008 UEFA European Championship. He was also part of the Fifa World Cup 2010 Team of the Tournament. 

Xavi revealed he wanted to concentrate on club football and had a chat with new Barcelona boss Luis Enrique before taking a decision.

Xavi: “I have decided to retire from international football. I’m grateful for all those years. It has been a fantastic time.

“I took that decision too quickly and after talking with Zubizarreta and especially Luis Enrique I have changed my mind.

“I ended the season in a bad way. Didn’t feel useful when I was benched at Barça and ESP. I decided to quit and start something else.

“I’m grateful to the federation and all the coaches who have been selecting me, I want to thank them all.

“It’s been extraordinary to be with the Spain team. I’m proud to have played with them for so long.

“I’m really satisfied, happy and proud in what I’ve achieved with Spain. I’ll always support the Spanish national team but I feel my personal role has come to an end.”

There is no doubt the Spanish national team will miss one of the best central midfielders of this generation. After a disastrous World Cup campaign, Vicente del Bosque will be looking to rebuild the national team and replacing Xavi will be the top priority for the Spain national team boss.


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