Sergio Busquets, who has been a mainstay in Spain’s midfield for over a decade and helped the country win the 2010 World Cup, is retiring from international football.
The 34-year-old Busquets, who also won the 2012 European Championship, will end his career in Spain after 143 appearances, the Spanish national team announced on Friday. Only Sergio Ramos (180) and Iker Casillas (167) played more games for Spain.
“It was an honor to represent my country at the highest level, to be world and European champions, to be captain and to play so many games, with more or less success, but always giving everything,” Busquets said in a statement. message. posted on Instagram.
Busquets captained Spain at the World Cup in Qatar. He was one of three Spanish players to miss a penalty in a surprise shootout defeat to Morocco in the round of 16. It marks the end of an era for Spain as the Barcelona defensive midfielder was the only remaining member of South Africa’s World Cup squad still playing for his country. Now Jordi Alba is the only active Spanish player to have won a major title at Euro 2012.
The lanky Busquets was a key part of Barcelona and Spain’s successes as he lined up for both club and country alongside Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández.
Busquets always stood out as a player who didn’t fit the bill. Neither fast nor a scoring threat, he proved indispensable to all his coaches thanks to his passing ability in tight spaces, his long legs that encircled opponents and his uncanny ability to maintain possession under pressure. Those qualities made him an integral part of the ‘tiki-taka’ passing game practiced by Spain and Barcelona.
Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales also praised Busquets for being a “quiet, serene leader who was admired by all”. In addition to his titles with Spain, he has helped Barcelona win three Champions League titles and several other trophies.
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Busquets’ contract with Barcelona expires at the end of this season. He has been linked with a possible move to Major League Soccer in the US