BARCELONA ( Associated Press) – Sergio Busquets, a mainstay in Spain’s midfield for more than a decade and helped the country win the 2010 World Cup, has announced his retirement from the Spain national team.
Busquets, 34, who also won the 2012 European Championship, ended his career with the Spain team after 143 appearances, the Spanish team itself reported on Friday. Only Sergio Ramos (180) and Iker Casillas (167) played more matches for Spain.
Busquets said in a message: “It is an honor to represent your country and take it to the top, to be world and European champion, to be captain and to play a lot of sports, always giving everything with more or less success. ” , Posted on Instagram.
Busquets was the captain of Spain in the World Cup in Qatar. He was one of three Spanish players to miss a penalty in the shock shootout defeat against Morocco in the round of 16.
His departure marked the end of an era for Spain, as the Barcelona defensive midfielder was the only remaining member of South Africa’s world champion team still playing for his country. Now Jordi Alba is the only active Spanish footballer to have won a major title at Euro 2012.
The lanky Busquets was a lynchpin of Barcelona and Spain’s national team achievements when he lined out for both club and country alongside Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.
Busquets always came across as a player who didn’t fit the mould. Despite not being quick or a threat on goal, he proved indispensable to all of his coaches, thanks to his passing skills in tight spaces, his long legs that troubled opponents, and his uncanny ability to keep the ball under pressure. Those qualities made him an integral part of Spain and Barcelona’s “tiki-taka” transfer scheme.
The president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, also praised Busquets for being “a silent, serene leader and for his humility and naturalness.”
In addition to his titles with Spain, he helped Barcelona win three Champions League titles and several other trophies.
Busquets’ contract with Barcelona expires at the end of this season. He has been linked with a possible move to US MLS.