Aug 5, 2014, 9:50 AM EST
One of the best midfielders in Spain’s storied history has stepped back from national team duty, as Xavi Hernandez announced his retirement on Tuesday morning.
The 34-year-old closes up shop with 133 caps, 13 goals, two European championships and the 2010 World Cup title. He also won a silver medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Xavi will continue to play for Barcelona under new head coach Luis Enrique despite being linked with several new homes over the course of the summer.
The midfielder said he was prepared to skip town after being benched at the end of the season, and was linked to New York City FC amongst other destinations, but was talked into a return to the Camp Nou by Enrique.
From the BBC, here are Xavi’s comments on his Spanish retirement:
“I was going to retire after Euro 2012 but head coach Vicente Del Bosque persuaded me to stay on and go to Brazil, which was of course a huge disappointment for everyone and myself individually.
“After Euro 2012, it was generally understood I was going to be leaving after Brazil 2014. I hope Del Bosque stays as manager of Spain because I don’t think there is a better man for the job.
“I want to thank everyone involved in that team for the way they treated me and the respect, and I could not wish for a better time as an international.”
Barcelona starts the La Liga season at home against Elche on Aug. 24.
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Dec 19, 2014, 9:40 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2014, 8:50 PM EST
With 45 points through 17 matches, Bayern Munich is having the best season in Bundesliga history.
Dec 19, 2014, 8:00 PM EST
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Dec 19, 2014, 7:10 PM EST
Newcastle and Sunderland may be bitter rivals, but their managers are telling supporters to behave on Sunday.
Dec 19, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
The Blues’ boss said his Belgian playmaker can become a Chelsea legend, but must win titles first.
Dec 19, 2014, 5:30 PM EST
England’s number one keeper finally put pen to paper with a new deal that will keep him at the Etihad until 2019.
Dec 19, 2014, 4:40 PM EST
The Leicester City boss was also fined $15,000 by the FA following his altercation with a fan.
Dec 19, 2014, 3:55 PM EST
CR7 and Howard, it seems, are among the few blessed with tons of talent and even more desire to work.
Dec 19, 2014, 3:20 PM EST
In the Premier League, Brad Guzan is tasked with keeping Manchester United off the scoreboard.
Dec 19, 2014, 2:05 PM EST
Orlando City founder and president Phil Rawlins described Shea as a big addition to the squad.
Dec 19, 2014, 1:43 PM EST
Altidore’s production for his country and in the Eredivisie prove he’s a much better player than his horrible spell at Sunderland.
Dec 19, 2014, 12:52 PM EST
According to The Daily Express, Man Utd’s man if Mats Hummels won’t come over from Borussia Dortmund is Nicolas Otamendi of Valencia.
Dec 19, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
Where and how to watch all the PL games during Week 17.
Dec 19, 2014, 11:38 AM EST
“He had to make a step back in his recovery,” said Southampton boss Ronald Koeman.
Dec 19, 2014, 10:50 AM EST
Villa Park hasn’t been a fortress for the Villans, and that’s underlined when bigger teams visit.
Dec 19, 2014, 10:10 AM EST
Sporting also added Hungarian striker Kristian Nemeth and Haitian mid James Marcellin.
Dec 19, 2014, 10:02 AM EST
Here’s how PST’s lead writer and editor sees things panning out this weekend.
Dec 19, 2014, 9:06 AM EST
Mangala on visitors to the Etihad: “Normally, teams that are coming here play more defensively.”
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