Spanish midfielder David Silva has announced his retirement from international football after winning 125 caps.
In an open letter published on his official Twitter account, Silva said: “It’s taken many days and weeks of reflection and analysis to reach this decision to end my time with the Spanish team.
“Without doubt, it has been one of the hardest decisions of my career, and one I am making with gratitude and humility.”
Gran Canaria-born Silva was making his name as a creative force at Valencia when he was first called up to the senior team in November 2006 and he scored the first of his 35 international goals against Greece in August 2007.
Named in the squad for Euro 2008, he was heavily involved as Luis Aragones’ men triumphed in the Vienna final.
His participation was light as Spain conquered the world in South Africa two years later, but he started all six matches as La Roja won the European Championship again in 2012.
“The national team has given me everything and has allowed me to grow as a player and a person even throughout the youth teams,” Silva, now a three-time Premier League champion with City, continued.
“I am proud to have contested 125 games and scored 25 goals across 12 years, winning the World Cup and two European Championships.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me over the years, without you it would not have been possible to play a part in the great history of the national team. Thank you – and good luck forever!”
Zlatko Dalic confirmed he will stay on as Croatia coach after guiding the team to the World Cup in Russia.
The former Al Ain coach had criticised the Croatian Football Federation for the lack of support but president Davor Suker suggested there was no issue.
“I consider that we solved all of the issues and I’m looking forward to new challenges,” Dalic was quoted as saying in a statement on Thursday after the meeting.
Suker added: “I am glad that we talked openly about things that could be better in the future and that we will go together toward new victories.”
A formal signing of Dalic’s contract is expected at the next meeting of the executive committee, the statement said.
Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary has announced his retirement from international football.
The 45-year-old carved out a slice of history for himself at this summer’s World Cup, becoming the oldest player to ever feature at the tournament when he started the Pharoahs’ final group game against Saudi Arabia – a clash that saw him save a penalty.
El-Hadary made his debut for Egypt in 1996, and went on to earn 159 caps for his country, appearing in four African Cup of Nations tournaments before finally making his World Cup bow in Russia, after Egypt qualified for the first time since 1990.
“After 22 years, four months and 12 days, I saw it as the best moment to hang up my gloves,” said El-Hadary on Facebook.
“I am very proud to have played with the national team in 159 internationals, participating in unprecedented achievements.”