Legendary midfielder Sergio Busquets has announced his retirement from the Spanish national team at the age of 34.
Busquets was the last remaining member of the 2010 World Cup-winning side present in their 2022 campaign and has decided to hang up his boots following 13 years in the international game.
With 143 caps to his name, the third-most in Spain history behind Sergio Ramos (180) and Iker Casillas (167). He scored just two goals in that time, but was an integral part of Spain’s midfield for more than a decade.
Making his debut under Vicente del Bosque in 2009, he would form an impressive partnership with Xabi Alonso at the base of midfield initially. During his time, he won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 Euros, forming part of an iconic Spain side that dominated football for four years.
❤️ 𝗨𝗻 𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗼 𝗾𝘂𝗲 𝘆𝗮 𝗲𝘀 𝗟𝗘𝗬𝗘𝗡𝗗𝗔.
🏆 Campeón del Mundial de 2010 y de la Eurocopa de 2012.
👕 𝟭𝟰𝟯 veces internacional.
🙏 ¡¡𝗚𝗥𝗔𝗖𝗜𝗔𝗦, 𝗕𝗨𝗦𝗜!!
— Selección Española de Fútbol (@SEFutbol) December 16, 2022
Quite aside from historically successful, Busquets was part of an era that marked international football, which was defined in no small part down to his style and excellence. Famously, former Spain manager commented that if he had to come back as a footballer, he would like to be Sergio Busquets.
It brings to a close an incredible spell for La Roja, who lose a unique and brilliant footballer.
His full statement below:
“I would like to announce that after almost 15 years and 143 games, the time has come to say goodbye to the national team. I would like to thank all the people who have accompanied me on this long journey. From Vicente del Bosque who gave me the opportunity to start, to Luis Enrique for making me enjoy myself until the last second, and also to thank Julen Lopetegui, Fernando Hierro and Robert Moreno for their trust, as well as all their staff.
And of course to each and every one of my teammates, with whom I have struggled to try to take the team where it deserved to go, with more or less success but always giving everything and with the greatest of pride.
I do not want to forget a single member of the journey, who, being in the background, have been just as important (physios, doctors, kit men, delegates, nutritionists, staff, press, security, travel, etc…) and all the people and workers who have crossed my path and have made it so special. Also to presidents, managers, sporting directors, and to those who, in one way or another, have been part of the federation.
To all the fans, for the daily support received and especially when things did not turn out as we expected. That is when you are most needed and when you have to be most united. To all of you, thank you!
And of course, most importantly, to my family. For supporting me at all times and in all my decisions and sharing this path while being away for many days and making me always feel close, so that I could give my best.
It has been an honour to represent my country and take it to the top, to be a World and European champion, to be Captain and to play so many games, with greater or lesser success but always giving everything and contributing my grain of sand so that everything went as well as possible and that everyone felt as important they are, helping everyone and fighting for the same goal, with unique, unforgettable and historic experiences”.