Following the massive disappointment that has been Spain's World Cup campaign, La Roja midfielder Xabi Alonso has reportedly announced his retirement from the international stage.
The reports follow Alonso's admittance that Spain's golden generation had reached the end of its domination after the 2-0 loss to Chile.
“Mentally we weren't ready. Physically, maybe the same is true. Putting that all together we weren't in the best shape. We haven't been able to maintain the same levels of conviction, of hunger.
“The success, the happiness before, is gone.
“We made a lot of mistakes. We lost a bit of that know-how and paid for it. We lost the solidity that helped us win so many games.
“We weren't able to maintain the same ambition and hunger, that real conviction that we were going to go for the title.”
In the Chile match, Alonso was substituted off at halftime after a subdued performance that saw him uncharacteristically lose the ball on several occasions.
Alonso has won everything football has to offer; on the international side Alonso was an integral part of the Spanish side that conquered the world with successive victories in Euro 2008, 2012 and World Cup 2010. At the age of 32 and having won 112 caps (the 5th most in Spanish history) and scoring 16 goals, Alonso has nothing to prove on the international stage.
Many players such as Paul Scholes and Francesco Totti have widely reported retiring early on the international stage can add years to a lagging club career.
Now that Alonso has retired, he can focus on adding to the two Champions League titles won with Liverpool in 2005 and Real Madrid this season, as well as the FA Cup with Liverpool, two Copa Del Rey's and a La Liga title with Real Madrid.