clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Xavi retires from international football

One of Spain's greatest ever midfielders has called time on his international career.

Cameron Spencer

The humiliation of an ageing Spain at the recent World Cup in Brazil looked like the start of the end of one of the greatest international teams football has ever seen. Sure enough, today one of the country's best ever players, Xavi, has called time on his international career.

The 34-year-old midfielder is Spain's second-most capped player of all time, having made 133 appearances since making his international debut back in 2000. Only current national team captain Iker Casillas has donned the roja jersey more often.

Xavi established himself as a vital component of the possession-based tiki taka style that has come to characterise both his domestic club, Barcelona, and the national team. His ability to drift across the pitch and dictate the tempo of matches with incessant passing was crucial in linking play from deep with the attackers. He doesn't score very often, but his importance in his sides' patient build-up play shouldn't be understated.

He retires from the international scene having won two European Championships and a World Cup. That sure isn't a bad haul.