Spain Defender Gerard Pique Announces International Retirement

| August 12 , 2018 , 17:34 IST

Spain's centre-back Gerard Pique has announced his retirement from international football on Saturday. The Barca player said that appointment of his former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique would not change his mind.

The 31-year-old defender said that he informed the new Spanish coach Luis Enrique about his retirement plans and also revealed that the Russia World Cup was his last tournament with the national side.

Luis Enrique took over as national team coach after the World Cup last month, which saw Fernando Hierro in temporary charge following the shock sacking of Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament.

Gerard Pique had an international career of 102 matches and his last appearance came in Spain's World Cup last-16 loss to Russia.

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The 31-year-old also played a key role in Spain's 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship success.

Speaking to media, Gerard Pique said, "I talked to Luis Enrique two weeks ago, I told him that the decision was made a while ago."

He further added, "Playing for Spain was an awesome experience, and I was able to win the World Cup and the Euros".

Pique also said, "I am proud that I was part of all that success but now I want to focus on Barcelona because I have many years left here and I want to enjoy them."

Barcelona will begin their season against Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday.