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Pique announces end of Spain career

Gerard Pique Spain defender Gerard Pique (source: Getty Images)

Gerard Pique has confirmed his international retirement after winning 102 caps for Spain.

The Barcelona defender made the announcement ahead of Sunday’s Supercopa de Espana clash with Sevilla, revealing he had informed new national team boss Luis Enrique of his decision during a conversation between the pair.

“I spoke with Luis Enrique and told him that my decision has been made,” Pique told the media.

“I had a really nice time with the Spain team, and I’m very happy to have been part of the success.”

It had been speculated that the appointment of Luis Enrique, Pique’s former Barca boss, may change his mind but that has proven not to be the case.

The former Manchester United defender added: “I talked to him two weeks ago but I told him that the decision was already made a while back. It was a pre-meditated one.

“Playing for Spain was an awesome stage and [it allowed me] to win the World Cup and the Euros. I am proud of being part of all that success but now I want to focus on Barcelona because there are many years left here and I want to enjoy these years.”

Pique – who reached his international century during the 2018 World Cup in Russia – was part of the successful squads that won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

He made his debut in February 2009, starting in a 2-0 win over England on home soil, and went on to forge a highly successful central defensive pairing with Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos.

The decision to end his time with Spain hardly comes as a surprise, though, with Pique having previously hinted this year’s tournament may be his last involvement with La Roja.

The 31-year-old also came in for criticism in his homeland last year after declaring his support for the Catalan independence referendum, though he continued to be selected by then coach Julen Lopetegui.

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