Former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso to retire after World Cup – report

Xabi Alonso warming up for Real Madrid

Xabi Alonso plans to retire from international football immediately after the World Cup, according to a report in the Spanish media.

Following Spain’s shocking defeats to the Netherlands and Chile and subsequent World Cup exit, former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso could call it a day.

Spanish publication Marca reports that the current Real Madrid midfielder is set to return to the Spanish capital early and announce his retirement from international football.

It is said to have been a decision made before the World Cup, but Spain’s poor showing has riled the 32-year-old, who criticised his team’s lack of intensity.

“When I spoke of the lack of hunger, I wasn’t speaking of commitment or cohesion in the group, but more during our games we couldn’t deliver that competitive intensity that you need in these finals”. He said, quoted by Marca.

Formerly a fans' favourite at Anfield with Liverpool, the current Madrid star was not alone in his presumption, as he told the press that a number of fellow players backed his criticism of the team.

“The feeling is the same with all of my colleagues that I have spoken to," he said. "We haven’t been at the right level, and we have lacked that tension needed.”

Over a 12-year span, Alonso has been capped 113 times by his country, scoring 16 goals and helping the side to a whopping 88 victories.

Looked upon as a key cog in Spain’s recent 'Golden Generation', he has won the European Championship twice and helped Spain win their first ever World Cup in 2010 in South Africa.

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