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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Jacob Leeks

Sergio Busquets confirms Spain decision as Lionel Messi comment leaves Barcelona future in doubt

Sergio Busquets has announced his retirement from international football, with his future at Barcelona still in doubt.

The midfielder captained Spain at this year's World Cup, but their hopes of winning the tournament for the first time in 12 years were shattered in the last 16. They were dumped out of the competition by Morocco, with Busquets missing the crucial penalty.

That game was to be his last for the Spanish national team, with the 34-year-old joining manager Luis Enrique in stepping back from the international stage. Busquets announced his decision with an emotional video and statement on social media.

"I would like to announce that after almost 15 years and 143 games, the time has come to say goodbye to the national team. I would like to thank all the people who have been with me on this long road," his statement read.

"From Vicente del Bosque who gave me the opportunity to start, to Luis Enrique for making me enjoy until the last second. Also thank the trust of Julen Lopetegui, Fernando Hierro or Robert Moreno, as well as all their staff.

"And how not to each and every one of my teammates, with whom I have struggled to try to take the national team where it deserved, with more or less success but always giving it all and with the greatest of pride.

HAVE YOUR SAY! Should Sergio Busquets sign a new contract with Barcelona? Comment below.

Busquets missed the crucial penalty as Spain were knocked out by Morocco at the World Cup (AFP via Getty Images)

"I do not want to forget any member of the expedition, who being in the background have been equally important (physicians, doctors, tools, delegates, nutritionists, staff, press, security, travel, etc... ) and to all the people and workers who have crossed my path and made it so special."

The midfielder also paid tribute to the Spain supporters, but called on them to stay united after the disappointment of this year's World Cup.

"To all the followers, for the daily support received and especially when things didn't go as expected. That's when you are needed the most and we need to be more united. To all of you, thank you!" Busquets added.

"And of course, most importantly, my family. For supporting me in every moment and in all my decisions and sharing this path being away for many days and making me feel always close to give my best.

"It has been an honor to represent my country and take it to the highest, be champion of the World and Europe, be Captain and play so many games, with greater or less success but always giving it all.

"And bringing my grain of sand so that everything was the best possible and that everyone felt how important they are, helping everyone and fighting for the same goal, with unique, unforgettable and historical experiences."

The midfielder's future at Barcelona remains in doubt with his contract up in June (Getty Images)

While his future for Spain has now been decided, his club career is up in the air, with his Barcelona contract expiring in June. He has previously hinted a move to Inter Miami, the expected destiantion of Lionel Messi, appeals to him most.

But Mundo Deportivo this week reported that he is yet to come to a decision and could yet sign a new deal with Barca. Boss Xavi is said to consider him as being 'essential' to his plans and has already told the midfielder of his importance.

A former team-mate of Busquets, Xavi is playing a 'fundamental role' in attempting to convince him to stay. A potential roadblock to an extension though is claim that he will have to take a large pay cut to stay at the Nou Camp.

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