Xavi retires from international football

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Spain midfielder Xavi has announced his retirement from international football.

The Barcelona midfielder, 34, has decided to end his career with the national team after a career which saw him become a key component in an unprecedented period of success for the Spanish national side.

Historical career

Xavi was part of the Spain side who won successive major tournaments at the European Championships in 2008, the World Cup in 2010 and a second European success in 2012.

He was named player of the tournament during the European Championship success of 2008, Spain's first major honour since 1964. He would go on to be a major influence as a first World Cup success followed in South Africa in 2010 before 'La Roja' would retain their European title in Poland and Ukraine two years later.

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Having made his debut for his country in 2000, Xavi would go on to make 133 appearances for Spain, scoring 13 goals. He would represent his country at four World Cup finals, three European Championships and the 2000 Olympic games.

Best in a generation

Regarded as one of the finest midfielders of his generation, he and fellow Barcelona star Andres Iniesta were widely acknowledged to have been the key figures in the evolution of the Johan Cruyff developed tika taka brand of football which reaped such success for both club and country.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Xavi said: "“I have decided to retire from international football.

“I’m grateful for all those years. It has been a fantastic time.”

Goes out on a low

His retirement comes after Spain's disappointing defence of their 2010 World Cup crown which saw the defending champions exit at the group stages after defeats to both Holland and Chile.

The departure from the international scene of one of Spanish football's true greats marks another chapter closed on the most successful era in Spanish football history.

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