Spanish defender Gerard Pique has this evening confirmed that he will no longer make himself available for international selection moving forward.
Barcelona stopper Pique, now 31, began his senior international career in 2009, quickly going on to become an integral part of the most fruitful period in the history of the Spanish national team.
After clinching the World Cup in 2010, the former Manchester United man added a European Championship winner’s medal to his trophy cabinet in 2012, and, though La Roja have failed to make full use of their frankly-staggering talent-level in the years since, Pique has nevertheless continued to act as an absolutely crucial member of Spain’s setup.
Despite his proud Catalan roots, which have seen the veteran singled out for hefty abuse from sections of the Spanish fanbase throughout his time with La Roja, Pique has, all told, racked up 102 international caps, with his partnership alongside club rival Sergio Ramos having long-stood as an underappreciated aspect of the successes of his country.
However, with tensions regarding his proud Catalan heritage having come to a head late last year, and Spain’s shock World Cup Last-16 exit at the hands of Russia having suggested an imminent change of guard may be forthcoming, Pique has this evening confirmed that he has officially retired from international football.
Speaking in a press conference, the veteran explained to the waiting media that his decision to no longer don the colours of La Roja was taken ‘some time ago’, with Pique not set to make himself available for selection to newly-appointed Spain boss Luis Enrique:
‘I spoke with Luis Enrique and I told him that my decision to leave the national team was already made some time ago.’
— MARCA (@marca) August 11, 2018