After a disappointing World Cup campaign, Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso has announced his retirement from the international game. The Real Madrid central midfielder joins the likes of Xavi, David Villa and Alvaro Arbeloa as recent Spain internationals to have retired from the side.
Looking to defend their World Cup title, Spain finished third in Group B, hitting a new low with a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Netherlands in the opening game. Despite the poor performance, Vicente del Bosque has stayed on as head coach, and will look to a new batch of players to regain their past form.
Spain still have an impressive squad, and the central midfield still features a plethora of top talent in Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Busquets and Javi Martinez, as well as more-attacking players such as Juan Mata, David Silva and Isco.
32 year-old Alonso, a former fan favourite during his spell in the Premier League with Liverpool, has found himself struggling for game time at Madrid following the acquisitions of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez in a star-studded midfield.
The news of Xabi Alonso’s international retirement was confirmed on the Selección Española Twitter page, the official account for the Spain national team.
— Selección Española (@SeFutbol) August 27, 2014