David Silva has announced his retirement from international football after Spain’s disappointing World Cup last-16 exit.
The 32-year-old midfielder, who sat out Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Arsenal in the Premier League, revealed the big news in a statement on Twitter on Monday evening.
Silva – who won the World Cup in 2014 and two European Championship titles in 2008 and 2012 with Spain – has now joined Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta in hanging up his international boots.
The Spaniard enjoyed a stellar 12 years with the national team, winning a remarkable 125 caps along the way after making his debut back in 2006.
‘It is not easy, after everything I have experienced, to sit down and write this letter,’ the 32-year-old star explained in an open letter posted on Twitter.
‘There have been days and weeks of reflection and analysis to make the decision to finish my time in the Spain national team. Without a doubt it is one of the hardest decisions in my career.’
‘The national team has given me everything and has allowed me to grow as a player and as a person from my first days in the youth set-up. I leave with pride after playing 125 games and scoring 35 goals in a 12-year spell where we lifted the World Cup and two European Championships.
‘I leave happy with all I have achieved, experienced and dreamed with a team that will be remembered forever, and I have ended an era filled with emotion from all those moments that come to my mind, like the figure of Luis Aragones, a teacher that none of us will ever forget.
‘I cannot leave without thanking all of my team-mates, the coaches that had faith in me and the RFEF employees that do everything to make our lives easier.
‘I also want to thank my family for their support over the years, without their help I would never have been able to form part of this team. And of course, the fans who have always given me their support and respect every time I wore the Spain shirt.
‘Thank you, good luck and farewell!’
Aragones – mentioned in Silva’s emotional retirement message – led Spain to the Euros in 2008 but passed away at the age of 75 in 2014.
Silva will now focus solely on his City duties, with Pep Guardiola’s side aiming to successfully defend their Premier League title.
DAVID SILVA’S SPAIN STATS
European Championships: 2
World Cup: 1