Legendary midfielder Sergio Busquets has announced his retirement from the Spain national team. The 34-year-old captain of the team made the decision following the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Busquets captained Spain for every match of their tournament.

“I’d like to announce that after almost 15 years and 143 games, the time has come for me to say goodbye to the national team,” Busquets said in an Instagram post.

“I would like to thank all the people who have been with me on this long road. From Vicente del Bosque who gave me the opportunity to start, to Luis Enrique for making me enjoy until the last second.”

“It has been an honor to represent my country and take it to the highest level,” Busquets continued. “To be champion of the World and Europe. To be captain and play so many games with greater or less success, but always giving it all and bringing my grain of sand so that everything was the best possible and that everyone felt how important they are. Helping everyone and fighting for the same goal, with unique, unforgettable, and historical experiences.”

Sergio Busquets announces Spain retirement with third-most caps

The midfielder made his Spain national team debut way back in April of 2009. More than 13 years later, Busquets racked up 143 total caps for his country and became their full-time captain in 2021. Only Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas have played more matches for Spain than Busquets.

Spain and their captain endured a tough World Cup in Qatar. The seventh-ranked team by FIFA were knocked out by Morocco in the round the 16. Penalties determined the winner, and Spain failed to convert a single shot. That includes Busquets, who had the third miss for Spain in the spot kicks.

Midfielder has full trophy case

Nevertheless, Busquets is widely regarded as one of the top midfielders of his entire generation. He started every match for his country during their 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship triumphs. The lanky defensive midfielder has also collected eight LaLiga titles and three Champions League trophies with Barcelona as well.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Bildbyran