Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets announced his retirement from international football after his country was eliminated from the World Cup by Morocco in the round of 16.
Busquets, 34, was the only remaining survivor of the Spanish national team that won the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and spoke of his desire to become the first Spaniard to win the tournament twice.
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However, after defaulting to Qatar, Capt La Roja He decided to step down and focus on the later years of his career at club level.
Busquets was one of three Spanish players to miss penalties in the last 16 shootout against Morocco after they were held goalless after extra time.
He announced his decision to retire from international duty in an Instagram post on Friday thanking his coaches, teammates and fans for their support over the years.
“I would like to announce that after almost 15 years and 143 matches, it is time for me to say goodbye to the national team,” said Busquets.
“It’s been an honor to represent my country and take it to the highest levels, to be world and European champion, to be captain and I’ve played many matches, with more or less success, but always giving everything and giving all my sand so that everything works out.” As best as possible.”
After making his international debut in 2009, Busquets became an integral part of the Spanish national team that won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship under Vicente del Bosque.
He remained ever-present under Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique, as well as interim coaches Fernando Hierro and Robert Moreno, and participated in four World Cups and three European Championships.
In total, he has earned 143 caps for his country in that time, scoring two goals.
Busquets, who was part of Spain’s golden generation in midfield alongside Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez, leaves behind a new generation of emerging talent.
Barcelona teammates Pedri and Javi, aged 20 and 18, have already become regulars in Luis Enrique’s side, driving the likes of Koke and Thiago out of the squad in the process.
Meanwhile, Busquets is now facing a decision about his club’s future, as his contract with Barcelona expires at the end of the season.
After 17 years at the club – including 15 in the first team – he said he would like some clarity by February, with a contract renewal with Barcelona and a move to Major League Soccer on the table.
Speaking at the World Cup, he said he has always been attracted to the idea of playing in the MLS, stating that Inter Miami would be his first choice if he moved to the United States.