Spain’s Xavi retires from international soccer


(EPA/ANDREU DALMAU)

Xavi, who helped lead Spain to its greatest world soccer achievements and is considered one of the best central midfielders of his generation, announced his retirement from international soccer on Tuesday, a little more than a month after La Roja flamed out in the group stage of the World Cup in Brazil.

The 34-year-old has helped his teams to 25 trophies, the most by any Spanish player. He will continue to play professionally for Barcelona in La Liga, with two years remaining on his contract.

Xavi has 133 caps for Spain since joining the first team in 2000. He helped pace Spain to successive titles at the 2008 European Championships (were he was named the tournament’s most valuable player), 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championships, the first time a team has won three straight major championships.

“I have decided to retire from international football,” Xavi said at a news conference on Tuesday, per the Guardian. “I’m grateful for all those years. It has been a fantastic time.”

“From now on I’m another fan of the Spain team. I’m grateful to everybody at the federation (RFEF), it’s been a marvelous time for me to be there for so many years and have so much success. I’m leaving very proud and I wish them all the best.”

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.
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