Tuesday Kickoff: Xavi announces intl. retirement; Man United win ICC; and more

XaviSpain1-Bolivia2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Xavi Hernandez will no longer don the red jersey of the Spanish National Team from this day forward.

In a decision that was expected to come sooner rather than later, Xavi said at a press conference on Tuesday morning that he’s retiring from international soccer, ending a 15-year run with La Furia Roja.

“I have taken the decision to stop playing for the national team,” Xavi told reporters. “I would like to thank the Federation and the managers that have chosen me from day one. It has been fantastic working with them and playing for this team. I go satisfied, proud and happy and wish them all the best. I am happy with Del Bosque continuing. From today I am another Spain fan.”

Since making his debut in 2000 and securing a regular place in the Spain squad in the run up to the 2006 World Cup, Xavi has been a mainstay for the national team, making 133 appearances and winning both the World Cup in 2010 and European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

The 34-year-old central midfielder, who has decided to remain at Barcelona for at least one more season, only played once during the World Cup in Brazil this past summer, starting and going the full 90 in Spain’s stunning 5-1 defeat.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Tuesday:

MAN UNITED CROWNED ICC CHAMPIONS

Coming off the disappointment of a seventh place finish in the English Premier League, Manchester United and new manager Louis Van Gaal have enjoyed a quick turnaround of the clubs fortunes, albeit just in preseason.

Man United won their fifth match in five games during their U.S. tour, defeating Liverpool, 3-1, in the final of the International Champions Cup in Miami on Monday evening to take home their first piece of silverware.

Liverpool took a 14th minute lead when Steven Gerrard slotted home a penalty kick but Man United took control in the second half when Wayne Rooney scored off a great cross from Javier Hernandez in the 55th minute.

Two minutes later, Juan Mata put the Red Devils in front and in the 88th minute, youngster Jesse Lingard put the match away with a cool finish to give Man United the victory.

MARQUEZ RETURNS TO EUROPE

In stunning news out of Mexico on Tuesday, Club Leon revealed that Mexico National Team captain Rafa Marquez has signed with Serie A side Hellas Verona.

The 35-year-old centerback has spent the last four years outside of European soccer, first with the New York Red Bulls before reviving his career with Club Leon, and leading them to two straight Liga MX titles. In addition, Marquez revitalized his international career under manager Miguel Herrera, and became the first Mexican to captain El Tri at four World Cups.

Its unclear how many years Marquez has signed for with Hellas Verona.

Marquez left Mexican soccer originally in 1999, signing for AS Monaco in France before joining Barcelona in 2003, remaining until 2010 when he joined the Red Bulls.

QUICK KICKS

UEFA have ordered Steaua Bucharest (Romania), Debrecen, FC (Hungary), Chikhura Sachkhere (Georgia), and NK Maribor (Slovenia) to close part of their stadiums for their next UEFA competition match due to incidents of racism from each team’s supporters. (REPORT)

Corinne Diacre, the first female head coach in French professional soccer, lost in her debut with Clermont Foot, 2-1, to Stade Brestois. (REPORT)

The Premier League and FA have agreed on new concussion protocols for the upcoming season, including forcing a substitution after a player loses consciousness. (REPORT)

Jack Rodwell has completed a £10 million move to Sunderland from Manchester City, signing a five-year contract. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Sad to see Xavi retire from international soccer? What’s your favorite memory of him in a Spain jersey? Do you see Man United contending for the EPL title this season? Do you see Marquez succeeding in Italy?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, Mexican Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Xavi announces intl. retirement; Man United win ICC; and more

  1. argh says:

    best SPANISH player of all time?

    he helped start their dominance from 2008-2012?

    that 2008 squad was 1 of beauty. Casillas, Ramos, Puyol, Senna, Xavi, Iniesta, Silva, Villa, Torres

    who would have bet they’d have gotten so far and yet fallen so low ala 5-1

  2. Eurosnob says:

    I will miss watching Xavi. He was a fantastic player for Spain with significant contributions to their two Euro titles and Spain’s first WC title. He is definitely one of the best to ever suit for Spain.

  3. RK says:

    I didn’t know Clermont hired another female manager; surprising given what Helena Costa had to say.

  4. John says:

    He doesn’t even consider himself Spanish. Best Catalan to play for Spain?

  5. Matt C says:

    Wow, it took an edict for a coach to sub a player AFTER he loses consciousness in the middle of match. Brilliance on display. Que the groaning for an add’l “blackout sub”.

    • Kevin_H says:

      If all 3 subs have been used, then what?

      • away goals says:

        How is it any different when a guy tears his hamstring after all three subs have been used?

        If you’ve used your subs and a guy is unable to safely compete, you play down a man. That’s already the case.

  6. Hanz says:

    Marquez back to Europe? Not really surprising, He looked pretty solid in the WC. Better than Pique.

    • a says:

      whys the source of this GOAL.COM- India edition?

    • Mike R says:

      Yea he looked great fouling Robben in the box repeatedly till Robben finally got the call.
      Also looked great getting toasted by Costa Rica and almost getting mex eliminated
      Until the us saved them

      • Ted Tran says:

        This. A lot of people talk about how embarrassing Besler’s performance was against Belgium, but Marquez was worst against the Netherlands.

        • Hanz says:

          Yeah, he sucked bad. So bad he got himself a contract in Italy.
          what do they know about defense.
          There is hating and there is hating to the point of ignorance

  7. Tim F. says:

    Is there a running commentary or live stream of Montreal Impact vs. FAS CONCACAF CL match tonight?

  8. FRANK says:

    WHAT ABOUT ADU AND YELDIN

  9. Ivan says:

    What happened with Ives’ NASL weekly roundup?

  10. Alex H says:

    So the entire top deck of the stadium was empty for the ICC final. Something for Becks and company to think about before hopping into bed with Miami and its politicians.

    • Desmond Orosco says:

      Over 50,000 were there though. FYI

      • Alex H says:

        How big is the stadium? There were a ton of empty seats. When they showed goal kicks form the behind the goalie the entire opposite top deck was empty.

        • John says:

          50,000 on a rainy Monday night game? What more do you want.

          • Matt C says:

            With the stadium appearing that empty, me thinks there was some attendance manipulation… Stadium seats 76k. Upper sections looked pretty empty..Not sure the “lower bowl” holds 50k. Then again, ManU supporters have large egos. Maybe each one counted as two.

          • Matt C says:

            I should have added, that even 30—45k is still impressive for a rainy Monday night. Just don’t like the attendance exaggerations.

            • Alex H says:

              The average attendance for the ICC cup was 49K, so 50K for the final doesn’t exactly cover the city of Miami in glory even if the number was not inflated. Also Man U is a huge draw that managed to fill the Rose Bowl (86K on a Wednesday) and then the Big House (109K).

  11. Steven says:

    Other Tuesday news. Liam Rigewell has been named to the all-star team. A true insult to just about every other defender in the league.

    Rigewell’s all-time MLS stats: appeared in 3 matches, and allowed 6 goals against. Thats an all-star for you.

    I think Porter is being a grade A A-hole on this one. Homer in the worst possible sense. 3 career MLS matches people…for a team that is not in the playoffs…6 goals against! Meanwhile other players have played their hearts out all season.

    • Fast Eddie says:

      Don’t you know, Porter believes he is better than Guardiola and Klnismann put together.

  12. Nico C. says:

    Kudos to Diacre! Now, I would love to see MLS become the first top tier men’s soccer league in the world to hire a woman.

  13. Brain Guy says:

    I can just hear BPL coaches under the new rule. “No, he’s not unconscious, he’s resting! He’s pining for the fjords!”