Barcelona and Spain defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets has announced his retirement from international football.
He has decided to step down after Spain’s World Cup elimination.
Busquets missed Spain’s last penalty against Morocco before Achraf Hakimi sent them packing in the round of 16.
The 34-year-old collected 143 caps for La Roja and won the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship. He scored two goals throughout his national team career.
Busquets holds the record for the most appearances at the World Cup by a Spanish player (17) and captained his side in Qatar.
He wrote a message on social media, explaining his decision to step down after 15 years.
A statement via his Instagram page read: “Hello to all! I want to announce that after almost 15 years and 143 games, the time has come to say goodbye to the national team.
“I would like to thank all the people who have been with me on this long road. From Vicente del Bosque, who allowed me to start, to Luis Enrique for making me enjoy until the last second.
“Also, thank the trust of Julen Lopetegui, Fernando Hierro, or Robert Moreno, as well as all their staff.”
Busquets went on to thank the fans, staff, teammates, directors, family, physios, nutritionists, and everyone that played a part in his journey. He wished new boss Luis De La Fuente and the team well.
He will now focus on club football with Barcelona, but even that chapter is ending soon. He will likely leave the Catalan club at the end of this season when his contract expires.
However, Busquets has shrugged off the speculation that he will join David Beckham-owned club Inter Miami. The MLS outfit are reportedly pushing hard for his signature.
Busquets denied any agreement but shared his love for the United States, especially Miami.
Football fans will remember Busquets as one of the all-time great midfield anchors.
He was the lynchpin in one of the most dominant football sides in history, carrying that form to the national team and achieving immense success with Spain.
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