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Andres Iniesta hints at international retirement after 2018 FIFA World Cup

Andres Iniesta hinted that 2018 FIFA World Cup can be his last tournament in a Spain jersey.

football Updated: Mar 22, 2018 16:47 IST
Andres Iniesta,2018 FIFA World Cup,Andres Iniesta retirement
Andres Iniesta may retire from international football after the 2018 FIFA World Cup.(REUTERS)

Andres Iniesta suspects he will pull on a Spain jersey for the final time at this year’s World Cup in Russia.

Iniesta will be remembered as one of the most important players in Spain’s football history, such is the impact he has had since making his debut in 2006.

Ahead of Friday’s friendly clash with Germany, Iniesta has played 123 times for Spain, a record bettered by only Andoni Zubizarreta, Xavi, Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas.

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Should Iniesta feature in all of Spain’s pre-World Cup friendly games and help them to the final, he could surpass Xavi as Spain’s third most-capped player in the showpiece, before probably signing off at the age of 34.

“At the moment, naturally, this World Cup will possibly be my last appearance for the national team,” he told Cadena Ser’s El Larguero radio show.

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“I don’t want to be around, just because of who I was. For the moment and with everything, it’s similar to what happens to me in my club.”

Iniesta has been a vital part of the most successful era in Spain’s history, helping them to back-to-back European Championship triumphs in 2008 and 2012, while also playing in their 2010 World Cup winning campaign, scoring the all-important goal against Netherlands in the final.

First Published: Mar 22, 2018 16:47 IST