Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has announced his retirement from international football.

The 32-year-old was a member of the Spain squads which won the World Cup in 2010 and European Championships in 2008 and 2012 during a sustained period of dominance - but that run came to an end with a miserable World Cup in Brazil this summer as they were dumped out before the group stages had even concluded.

"I quit the Spanish National Team. The hardest thing is knowing when to say goodbye, and after thinking about it, I think that my time with the National squad has come to an end," the 32-year-old said in a statement on the Spanish football team's official website.
              
"It has been a glorious period with the Spanish team that started more than 11 years ago, I have formed part of an historical generation that has fulfilled the dreams of millions of fans."