Gerard Pique confirms Spain retirement...despite approach from former coach Luis Enrique

39;Playing for Spain was an awesome experience.'

39;Playing for Spain was an awesome experience.'

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has revealed that he has retired from Spain's national team.

The 31-year-old centre-back made 102 appearances for his country between 2009 and 2018, scoring five times.

Pique had declared his intention to quit worldwide football after the 2018 World Cup following a qualifier against Albania in October 2016, when he said he was exhausted of criticism and wanted "to be left in peace". However, some reports claimed Pique was set to continue to play for La Roja after Luis Enrique, his former Barca manager, was appointed as Julen Lopetegui's permanent successor.

He was also part of the World Cup winning team in 2010 and European champions in 2012.

"I spoke with Luis Enrique and told him that my decision has been made", Pique told the media.

"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 am proud that I was part of all that success but now I want to focus on Barcelona, because I have many years left here and I want to enjoy them".

Pique did not immediately confirm his retirement following Spain's exit from the World Cup, when they lost on penalties to hosts Russian Federation in the last 16.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's Spanish Super Cup match against Sevilla, the 31-year-old explained that he meant to dedicate the rest of his playing career to his club.

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