Barcelona's Pique announces worldwide retirement from Spain

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique retires from Spain duty

Pique was rumoured to have been considering his future with his national side following Spain's last-16 defeat to Russian Federation in the World Cup earlier this summer.

The 31-year-old centre-back made 102 appearances for his country between 2009 and 2018, scoring five times.

Among the centre-back's global honours are the 2010 World Cup and a Euro 2012 winner's medal.

Catalonia, a region of 7.5 million people in north-eastern Spain, has its own language and culture and Barcelona is its capital.

Pique's retirement announcement does not come as a surprise as he had made a statement back in October 2016 that he would quit global football after the FIFA World Cup 2018, held in Russian Federation.

He remains a divisive figure within Spain, and has often been critical of Barca's club rivals Real Madrid.

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His expected decision comes despite former Barca boss Luis Enrique having since been appointed Spain's manager.

"I spoke to Luis Enrique a few days ago", he said during a press conference.

"I talked to [Luis Enrique] two weeks ago, I told him that the decision was made a while ago", said Pique, who made his worldwide debut in a friendly in 2009.

Pique made the announcement ahead of Sunday's Spanish Super Cup match against Sevilla and said that he wants to focus his remaining years playing football with Barcelona.

Pique has accumulated 102 caps for his national team, a record that coincides with the most successful period in Roja history.

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