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Del Bosque: Spain will miss Xavi

Xavi Hernandez announces international retirement as Lionel Messi returns to training for FC Barcelona.
Spanish midfielder Xavi Hernandez retired from international football after making 133 appearances for his country, the most ever by an outfield player for Spain.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has said it will be "difficult to replace" Xavi Hernandez after the midfielder confirmed his international retirement.

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On Tuesday, the 34-year-old announced the end of a career with Spain that saw him win Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

Barcelona's Xavi made 133 senior appearances for his nation and Del Bosque has reserved praise for the influential playmaker.

Speaking to, the coach described Xavi as "a key man in the style of play of the national team, which has brought us so much success."

"He's been one of the major sources of support that we've had in the dressing room over these six years.

"I would like to express my appreciation for a fantastic player. We lose a unique footballer, one difficult to replace."

Del Bosque added: "We'll miss him both on and off the pitch."


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