Talking of a midfielder who knows his job and gives quality display virtually all the time he is on the pitch, Xabi Alonso will be in that class.
A defensive midfielder with an eye catching passing ability played in Spain and England and was a top player during his time with the national team.
Xabi Alonso is a natural leader and a key figure in Spain’s dominant era which saw them claim a number of trophies.
His retirement from international football may have come on the back of a first round world cup exit but his international career is something to be proud of.
Not known for scoring too many goals as a midfielder but when he does, they are always special strikes.
The 32 year old midfielder announced his retirement from international football after 11 years of commitment and he feels it’s a big honour to have served his country for that long.
Xabi Alonso made his international debut in 2003 as a 21 year old in Spain’s 4-0 friendly win over Ecuador.
Alonso was part of the Spanish team that got eliminated in the group stage of Euro 2004 playing the full 90 minutes against host country Portugal.
In 200g world cup in Germany, Xabi Alonso got his first international goal against Ukraine but got eliminated in the round of 16 by eventual finalist, France.
Euro 2008 turned out to be a successful one for Alonso as Spain went on to wins the tournament beating Germany in the final despite Alonso’s inability to claim a regular place in the squad.
In 2009, Alonso scored a superb free kick to give Spain an extra time win over South Africa in the bronze medal match.
2010 World cup in South Africa saw Alonso as an integral part of the team starting all the matches as Spain became the world champions with his highlight been the kung fu tackle he suffered from Nigel De Jong of Netherlands in the world cup final match.
Xabi Alonso marked his 100th appearance for Spain with a brace against France in the quarter finals of Euro 2012.
The midfielder ended up with the trophy as Spain completed the defence of the title they won in 2008 with a 4-0 thrashing of Italy in the final match.
Although Xabi Alonso was part of the 2014 world cup squad in Brazil, his team failed to go past the first round with their 5-1 humiliation against Netherlands making the news.
Alonso scored the first Spanish goal in the tournament when he converted a penalty against Louis Van Gaal tutored Netherlands squad.
Alonso’s final match for Spain came in his 83 minutes appearance in the final group game against Australia which Spain won 3-0.
Xabi Alonso’s followed the departure of David Villa and Xavi Hernandez as he also retired from the international scene making 114 appearances and scoring 16 goals in the process.