With Spain's cycle of success now over, in rather brutal fashion, one of the key architects of their golden period has decided to quit, according to Marca.
Alonso won Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 with the Spain national team and makes way for a new generation, led by the likes of Koke and Thiago Alcantara.
The Real Madrid star has been a key influence from a deep role in midfield alongside Sergio Busquets and Xavi but was not at his best in the two defeats to Netherlands and Chile which put paid to Spain's ambitions of yet another international trophy.
Marca reports his decision was taken prior to the World Cup, though.
Alonso said prior to the finals: "I haven't decided whether I will quit Spain. I'm really focused on the World Cup and it depends how I feel after the tournament. I'll decide then. If my body responds and I feel as though I want to continue, then I'll continue."
- Sports & Recreation
- 2010 World Cup