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Spain's Xavi Retires as 2nd-Most Capped Player in Nation's History

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 12:  Xavi Hernandez of Spain faces the media during the Spain press conference ahead the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group B match between Spain and Netherlands at Arena Fonte Nova on June 12, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images
Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffAugust 15, 2014

Barcelona midfielder Xavi will retire from international play as the second-most capped player in Spain's history, per ESPN's Paul Carr.

The longtime Barca superstar logged 133 matches for the senior national side, placing him 23 short of goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who is still active for Spain with 156 caps to his name.

Recently selected to replace retired defender Carlos Puyol as Barcelona's captain, Xavi appears to have at least a few good years remaining, but there's little left for him to accomplish in the international game.

Of course, the same could be said for his club career, as the sure-footed midfielder already has a Spanish-record 26 trophies, 23 of which he earned in a Barca kit, per USA Today.

The other three of those 26 came for the national side, as Spain memorably won consecutive European Championships in 2008 and 2012, sandwiched around a 2010 World Cup triumph in South Africa.

Though he scored just one goal between the three major international competitions, Xavi was named to the Team of the Tournament all three times. At Euro 2008, when Spain started the incredible run, Xavi was Player of the Tournament.

Not that it diminishes his legacy by any means, but Xavi probably won't remain the most-capped field player in Spanish national side history for long. Twenty-eight-year-old defender Sergio Ramos already has 120 caps and has shown no signs of slowing down.

 

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