Spain’s disaster at the 2014 FIFA World Cup was met with astonishment and epic failure but here comes the news that will send the jaws dropping.
Spain’s disaster at the 2014 FIFA World Cup was met with astonishment and epic failure but here comes the news that will send the jaws dropping – as Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez announced his retirement from the Spanish national team after a disappointing outing in Brazil.
The 34-year-old was quoted, “I’m grateful for all those years. It has been a fantastic time. I want to thank everyone involved in that team for the way they treated me and the respect and I could not wish for a better time as an international. I have taken the decision to leave the selection. I think my time has ended.”
The midfielder was the orchestrator of Spain’s creativity in the middle that led them winning the World Cup in 2010 and two European championships in 2008 and 2012.
Moreover, he also won titles in his club colours with 22 major trophies.
Since his debut for the Spanish Armada in 2000, Xavi went onto represent the national team in 133 matches and scoring 13 goals in all. But after Spain’s ‘flop show’ at this summer’s World Cup, it seems the exit factor played on Xavi’s mind and thus his retirement announcement comes as a ‘no brainer’ for most of the football fans and pundits alike.
But the debate rumbles on – whether Xavi was the ‘best’ ever?
Will he be remembered in the same breath as Zinedine Zidane, Steven Gerrard or Andres Iniesta?
Not to forget his past laurels in which the Barcelona man weaved his magic around. Xavi was named the ‘Player of the Tournament’ during the Euro 2008 Championships and two years on; he was at it again leading the ‘La Roja’ to the numero uno position in the world by winning the coveted FIFA World Cup in South Africa. That did not end there as Xavi continued enthralling the fans with another dazzling display at Euro 2012 which ensured the former’s place in the Team of the Tournament for the third successive time.
It seems the Spanish side has been bitten by the ‘reality bug’.
With the exit of Xavi, the futures of Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso and Andres Iniesta remains a mystery. Young and talented players like David Silva, Cesc Fabregas, Koke and Juan Mata have been warming the benches for a while now. But nonetheless, Xavi’s magic and his fluent feet will be sorely missed on the international front.
For the time being, he will be available as far as club honours are concerned.
Here are some of the tweets that were dedicated to Xavi:
It’s been a pleasure playing with 1 of the best players in the history of Spanish football,thanks 4 everything Xavi! pic.twitter.com/DeTgYfKYQa
— David Silva (@21LVA) August 5, 2014
— Juan Mata García (@juanmata8) August 5, 2014
Xavi has announced his retirement from international football. One of the greatest midfielders the game has seen. #Suerte
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) August 5, 2014
With that said Xavi is the best central midfield player I have ever seen and with Spain was integral in their greatest success
— jamie fenton (@jamie189227) August 5, 2014