Barcelona's Pique announces global retirement from Spain

Barcelona's Pique announces global retirement from Spain

Gerard Piqué has confirmed his global retirement after winning 102 caps for Spain.

The 31-year-old centre-back made 102 appearances for his country between 2009 and 2018, scoring five times.

His defensive partnership with Carles Puyol was key to Spain's maiden World Cup title in 2010, while he also won Euro 2012.

Pique declared his intention to quit worldwide football after the 2018 World Cup following a World Cup qualifier against Albania in October 2016, saying he was exhausted of repeated criticism from supporters and the media, and that he wished "to be left in peace".

He remains a divisive figure within Spain, and has often been critical of Barca's club rivals Real Madrid.

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Spain also lost the services of Pique's Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta, who announced his worldwide retirement in July.

Pique is the latest member of the great World Cup-winning Spanish side to quit the national team, following the likes of former Barcelona teammates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta.

"I talked to him (Enrique) a week or two ago".

However, the former Manchester United defender insisted that he felt "fortunate for being a part of the national team during such a attractive and successful time" and said "the decision had already been made a long time ago and it was well thought out".

"Playing for Spain was an awesome experience, and I was able to win the World Cup and the Euros". Now I want to focus on Barca, ' he said.

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