Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has called time on his international career with Spain.
The 34-year-old earned his 143rd and final cap for La Roja in the World Cup, overseeing a 0-0 draw with Morocco that ended in a penalty shoot-out defeat, with Busquets himself missing Spain’s last penalty.
After a few weeks away from football, Busquets has confirmed his retirement from international duty.
“I would like to announce that after almost 15 years and 143 matches, the time has come to say goodbye to the national team,” he wrote on Instagram.
“I would like to thank all the people who have accompanied me on this long from. From Vicente del Bosque, who gave me the opportunity to start, to Luis Enrique for making me enjoy until the very last second. I also thank Julen Lopetegui, Fernando Hierro and Robert Moreno for their trust, as well as all of his staff.
“And of course, to each and every one of my teammates, with whom I have struggled to try to take the team where it deserved, with more or less success but always giving everything and with the greatest of pride.
“I do not want to forget any member of the journey who, being in the background, have been just as important (physios, doctors, kit men, nutritionists, staff, press, security, travel, etc) and all the people and workers who have crossed my path and have made it so special. Also to presidents, managers, sports directors and to those who, in one way or another, have been part of the federation.
“To all the followers, for the daily support received and especially when things did not turn out as we expected. That is when you are most needed and most united, you have to be. To all of you, thank you.
“And of course, most importantly, my family. For supporting me at all times and in all my decisions and sharing this path while being away for many days and making me always feel close so that I could give my best.
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“It has been an honour to represent my country and take it to the top, to be a world and European champion, to be captain and to play so many games, with more or less success but always giving everything and contributing my grain of sand so that everything as good as possible and that everyone felt how important they are, helping everyone and fighting for the same goal with unique, unforgettable and historical experiences.
“I still get goosebumps remembering it. I will miss this a lot (seeing the squad list, taking the plane, greeting my teammates, enjoying the training sessions, the endless pocha games, going out to play, but not before shouting together, listening to the national anthem, hugging and feeling the affection of an entire country).
“Finally, I can only with my teammates and the new coach Luis de la Fuente all the luck in the world. Now, I will be one more fan. I will enjoy and support our team unconditionally.”