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By ESPN Staff
Aug 27, 2014

Xabi Alonso retires from Spain national team

The ESPN FC crew discusses Spain's treacherous World Cup, and who is to blame for their poor showing.

Xabi Alonso on Wednesday announced his retirement from the Spanish national team via Twitter.

The Real Madrid midfielder, 32, made his international debut with Spain in April 2003 and was part of the teams that won Euro 2008, Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup. He played in 114 matches and scored 16 goals.

"I would like to communicate that I am ending my stage with the Spanish national team," Alonso said in a letter posted on Twitter. "The toughest thing is to know when to say goodbye and after a lot of thought, I think that moment has come. I will end this glorious stage that started more than 11 years ago. I was part of a historic generation that has fulfilled the dream of millions of fans, accomplishing something as unique as a World Cup and two Euro Cups in the span of four years.

"From that day on April 30, 2003 when I made my debut at age 21, I have only had great moments, so I only have words of thanks for all those with whom I have shared this time, more than a decade," he said. "I want to thank all my coaches, teammates, staff and the millions of fans who have always showed me love and respect."

Alonso singled out Inaki Saez, Luis Aragones and Vicente del Bosque, his coaches during his national team career, as well as federation officials. He also thanked Real Sociedad, Liverpool and Real Madrid for the support he received during national team play. Finally, he thanked his fans. 

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