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Hierro to retire from international football

ULSAN, South Korea, June 18 (AFP)
Spain captain and defensive stalwart of the last 13 years Fernando Hierro announced his retirement from international football after the World Cup.
The 34-year-old Real Madrid central defender has 88 caps, second only to former goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta, and he is Spain's all-time best goalscorer with 29.
"I'll cherish the memories of those 88 caps. I hope I can reach 91," said an emotional Hierro, who wants to sign off from international duty by taking Spain through to the June 30 World Cup final in Yokohama.
"I will leave the scene a happy man. I've given my all for the colours of my country, and each selection has been an honour. It's nothing to do with my age, I just feel it's time to move on," Hierro added.
"I made up my mind last December, but it's still a difficult decision to make," Hierro said, his voice quavering with emotion.
Hierro won his first cap against Poland in 1988 and went on to play in four World Cup finals, with his best showing to date being a quarter-final appearance in the United States in 1994.
But Spain have already reached the last eight in South Korea and will play either South Korea or Italy in Gwangju on Saturday for a place in the semi-finals.
Hierro was in the thick of the action in the second round match against Ireland, giving away the penalty which allowed the Irish to equalise in the last minute of regular time, but then slotted home a vital penalty in the shoot-out which Spain won 3-2 to qualify.
On Real Madrid's books since 1989, Hierro won three European Cups trophies and four league championships.

Source: www.dailysoccer.com
 

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Hierro deserves a tribute very soon :proud:

I think its a perfect time for him, and i hope he can finish his international career with a good WC. He is one of Spain's all time best. He does get a lot of slack from time to time but there is no denying how much has given Real Madrid and Spain throughout these years.

Hala Hierro - Always! :star:
 

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I think they're better off without him. He's over the hill, in my opinion...
 

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Indeed. Hierro has given his best for all those 88 caps he had won. Hopefully, as he said, it won't be his last cap... pray for 91 caps.. :)
 

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Real Hand Hierro One-Year Contract Extension
News Archive

06/23/2002. Fernando Hierro will stay for one more year with Real Madrid before hanging up his boots. The Spain captain had a contract with the Merengues until June of next year. He will now stay until 2004.

soccerage
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good news for real...
 

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Eddy Fräser said:
I think they're better off without him. He's over the hill, in my opinion...
I´m glad you are not in charge of the team.

Hierro is still one of the best defenders around. He was, together with Raúl, the best performer in la seleccion during the world cup and maybe the best defender in the whole tournament. He did one single mistake during his four matches and got heavily punished. Now, everybody seems to be giving him crap. But let`s look at the facts, shall we:

Positioning - although he may be slow, Hierro is always at the right place.
Leadership - Hierro is the greatest leader since Franco Baresi, he has the ability to make mediocre players perform well by his side.
Aerial game - No one beats Hierro in the air, just ask Nial Quinn.
Tackling - He is always the one that makes that crucial tackle. Hierro is a toughie who knows every trick in the book, and uses it to perfection.
Set pieces - Not only is he dangerous in the box with his aerial abilities, he can also convert freekicks directly into goal. Not to mention that he is an expert on penalties.

Hierro was the best and most complete player during the 1990`s, only Batigol can match the high level of continuity he performed during his time in the spanish capitol.

I hail you, Fernando Ruiz Hierro, Málagas greatest son. May you still be a priceless asset to our team for many years to come (or at least until 2004) :proud:
 

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this is the most bitter exit you can think of! Acceptable in a sportive sense, but not by being cheated!

I tribute my highest respect to Hierro, being a captain by example, being a tactical genious, being a rock in defense, being a loyal leader and a friend for fans...I could go on this way and this counts for both Real and Spain.

This was his 4th WC and I hate to see him leaving like that! He simply hasnt deserved that! He needs a NT-farewell game just not to end it that way!

He will leave a big gap in the spanish NT. And its hard to close it. If they ever can.

Gracias Fernando for your loyality, gracias por todo

Saludos, LaBlanca
 
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