Barcelona defender Gerard Pique retires from international football after Russia 2018 World Cup

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique retires from international football after Russia 2018 World Cup

- Pique confirms retirement from international football after nine years of representing the Spanish national team

- He won the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and the UEFA European Championship in 2010

- The defender made 102 appearances and scored five goals in the process

Barcelona superstar Gerard Pique has announced his retirement from international football.

The 31-year-old was part of the Spanish national team that won the FIFA World Cup for the first time in South Africa in 2010.

He scored five goals in 102 appearances during his nine year reign for La Roja - winning the 2012 UEFA European Championship.

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His decision to hang his international boots after being quoted by BBC saying he was tired of criticism and wanted "to be left in peace".

Spain got crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in the Round of 16 after losing on penalties to host country, Russia.

He joined Barcelona from Manchester United in 2008 and has been a key member of the Catalan club - scoring 23 goals in over 270 matches.

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

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His expected decision comes despite former Barca boss Luis Enrique having since been appointed Spain's manager.

"I spoke to Luis Enrique a few days ago. He called me and I told him the decision was taken a long time ago and that I had thought about it carefully," Pique said on Saturday.

"It was a beautiful time with the national team in which I had the chance to win the World Cup and the European Championship. Now I want to focus on Barca," he added.

"I have a few years left here and I'm going to enjoy them a lot."

Barca, who won the Spanish double last season, play Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup in Tangier, Morocco, on Sunday at 21:00 BST. previously reported that Pique and Shakira's home was robbed in Catalonia.

The couple lost several expensive watches and pieces of jewelry during the burglary who and it is understood the singer and her footballer husband were not at home during the robbery.

However Pique's parents were believed to be sleeping upstairs in the house when the break-in occurred.

The reports also said there was no violence during the home invasion and Catalan police have opened an investigation fish out the perpetrators.

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