The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Real Madrid star, Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso retires from international football

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MADRID - Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso, one of the key figures in Spain's dominant era that included two European championships and a World Cup title, says he is retiring from international football.

The 32-year-old Alonso announced the decision on Twitter on Wednesday, saying it had been "an enormous honour" to play for Spain for 11 years.

The former Liverpool midfielder scored 16 goals in 114 Spain appearances. He started every game at the 2010 World Cup, helping Spain win the tournament for the first time.

He was also part of the teams that won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships, and the squad that was dumped out of this year's World Cup in Brazil in the group stage.

He joins Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez, another key member of those teams, in retiring from international play after Brazil.

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