Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has confirmed that he is stepping down from international football due to a disappointing World Cup for Spain.
Among the center-back’s international honors are the 2010 World Cup and a Euro 2012 winner’s medal.
Pique has accumulated 102 caps for his national team, a record that coincides with the most successful period in Roja history.
But his international career has rarely been smooth sailing, with his outspoken support of Catalan nationalism often a stick with which Spain fans have used to criticize him.
At 31 and with 102 appearances for La Roja, the center-back has decided not to team up with former coach Luis Enrique with whom he won the Champions League with.
“I have had a really good time, with a European Championship and a World Cup, but that story is at an end,” he told reporters on Saturday prior to Barcelona’s Supercopa clash with Sevilla.
“I have told this to Luis Enrique.”
Even before the World Cup, Pique had hinted that Russia 2018 would be his last major tournament.
“It has been a wonderful time and I have experienced amazing things, but sometimes you have to end cycles and you have to do that in the right fashion.”