5 August 2014 14:39
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has paid tribute to Xavi after the midfielder confirmed his international retirement on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old announced he was to call time on his glittering national-team career after winning 133 caps and three major tournaments.
Having played a key role in Spain’s unprecedented run of sandwiching their 2010 World Cup victory with two European Championship successes, Barcelona legend Xavi said he feels “satisfied, happy and proud” with his achievements at international level.
And Del Bosque, who led Spain to their World Cup and second European Championships victories, has hailed Xavi as a “unique player”.
“He’s a player we appreciate on a personal and professional level,” the 63-year-old told the Spanish Football Federation’s official website.
“He’s been a key player in the Spanish national team’s game style and in all our triumphs. We will miss him both on and off the pitch.
“I would like to demonstrate my appreciation to a fantastic player. The national team loses a unique player [who is] difficult to replace.
“He is and will always be a very well appreciated player and person for the Federation, the technical staff and for me.”