Official: Gerald Pique announces retirement from international football

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The Barcelona central defender has called time on a successful career with the Spanish national team.

The 31-year old has enjoyed global and continental success with La Furia, winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa before helping Spain complete back-to-back success at the European Championships in 2012.

Pique has decided to retire from the Spanish national team following their round of 16 exit at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

He featured in all of Spain’s World Cup games in Russia and was involved in the build-up to Russia’s equaliser in the round of 16 – penalised for handling the ball in the 18-yard box.

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The Barcelona defender has endured a sour relationship with the fans of the Spanish national team due to his vocal support for Catalonia referendum – also exercising his franchise during the city’s vote for independence.

The four-time UCL winner relayed his decision to reporters in a press conference on Saturday:

“I have had a really good time, with a European Championship and a World Cup, but that story is at an end,”

“I have told this to Luis Enrique.”

“It has been a wonderful time and I have experienced amazing things, but sometimes you have to end cycles and you have to do that in the right fashion.”

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Pique already dropped a hint before the World Cup that the mundial could be his last appearance with the Spanish national team.

The Spanish defender quits the national team having featured in 102 appearances since making his international debut in a friendly against England in 2009.

New Spain boss and ex-Barcelona gaffer Luis Enrique will now be unable to call on his former player’s services.