Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has confirmed his retirement from international competition via an open letter, as well as his official Twitter account. The announcement signals the end of an eleven-year career with the Spanish national team. He becomes the second member of Spain’s “golden generation” to retire following Xavi Hernandez announcement earlier this summer.
“I announce my retirement from international football. It has been an enormous honour for 11 great years. Sincere thanks to everyone involved,” Alonso tweeted.
The 32-year-old was part of a legendary Spanish side that won three consecutive tournaments between 2008 and 2012, including two European championships and the 2010 World Cup. Alonso finishes his La Roja career with 114 caps and 16 goals.
In an open letter, Alonso expounded on his thoughts of retirement:
“The hardest part is knowing when to say goodbye and, after much thought, I think that time has come,” he wrote.
“I end with a glorious national team career that began over 11 years ago, having been part of a historical generation that has fulfilled the dream of millions of fans, doing something as unique as winning a World Cup and two European Championships in four years.”
Since April 30, 2003, when I made my debut at just 21, I have experienced only good times, so I have only words of thanks to all those with whom I have shared more than a decade.”
“I want to thank all my coaches, team-mates and millions of fans who have always shown me kindness and respect.”
“Inaki Saez, the unforgettable Luis Aragones and Vicente del Bosque are figures that I will always carry with me for having helped me grow professionally and personally.”
“I could not list all the colleagues with whom I have shared this shirt, but I want to thank each and every one of them for all you have shown me and taught me during this memorable period of my life.”
“Thanks to Real Sociedad, Liverpool and Real Madrid for opening the doors to be pat of a single dream. All my clubs have helped and supported me to make it happen.”
“Finally, I want to convey my sincere thanks to the fans. We dream together and share the glory together. We had many unforgettable moments.”
“Thank you all and goodbye.”