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Fifa World cup

Busquets retires from international football as Spain’s third-most capped player

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Sergio Busquets has announced his retirement from international football after having played 143 games for Spain.

The Barcelona midfielder won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 Euro Cup with La Roja, being the starter for the team until the 2022 World Cup.

This month in Qatar he was the experienced foothold in Luis Enrique’s midfield, with teammates Gavi and Pedri on either side of him as La Selección reached the round of 16, being defeated on penalties by eventual semifinalists Morocco. Busquets took Spain’s third and final penalty in that shootout, meaning his last touch in the national team jersey was a miss that ended up eliminating his team.

Despite that, Busquets will be far more remembered as one of the best of a generation of midfielders, alongside the likes of Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Andrés Iniesta, who greatly redefined the game in the midfield during the modern era and certainly they came to define. the successful Spanish team that won three major tournaments in a row.

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For many, he has simply been the best holding midfielder in the game in the last decade.

Now 34 years old, Busquets played the full 90 minutes of the two finals he won with Spain and this time he captained the team. He made his senior team debut in 2009 and between that year and this year, he only twice played fewer than eight games in a calendar year for Spain.

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Only Sergio Ramos (180) and Iker Casillas (167) played more matches for Spain than Busquets, who also played in Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018, as well as the 2016 Euro Cup and the delayed 2020 one.

Despite his regular appearances, Busquets only scored twice at international level, both goals within two months of each other in Euro 2016 qualifying, in 2014 against Macedonia and Belarus.

Busquets has six months left on his contract with the Barcelona club and it has been speculated that he could leave for MLS in 2023, although it has not yet been decided if it will be in January or in the summer.

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