Spain centre-back and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has announced his retirement from international football following a disappointing World Cup for the national side. The 31-year-old made a total of 102 international appearances for Spain, the last of which came in the team’s FIFA World Cup last-16 loss to Russia.
“I have had a really good time, with a European Championship and a World Cup, but that story is at an end,” goal.com quoted Pique as telling the reporters on Saturday prior to Barcelona’s Supercopa clash with Sevilla. “I have told this to Luis Enrique,” he added.
Pique was part of the Spain team that won their first World Cup in 2010, before adding the 2012 European Championship. He had declared his intention to quit international football after the 2018 World Cup following a qualifier against Albania in October 2016, when he said he was tired of the criticism and wanted “to be left in peace”.
“It would make sense to leave it after the World Cup,” he had said. “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.”
He has now joined the likes of former Barcelona teammates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta who had announced their international retirement following Spain’s poor performance at the recently concluded World Cup.
Barcelona will play Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup in Tangier, Morocco, on Sunday.