Mexico captain and all-time captain Andres Guardado announced his retirement from the national team on Tuesday.
Guardado, 36, said ahead of the 2022 World Cup that the tournament in Qatar would be his “last chance to achieve something for the national team” and he made it official on Instagram.
“I said it long ago, but I never stopped to thank you for what I have experienced in these 16 years with my national team! Words cannot express how grateful and privileged I feel!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being with me. Came to them all,” said the Real Betis midfielder.
“[Thanks] Of course for all the loyal fans who have supported me all these years I am now one more of you!”
His last game for Mexico was a 2-0 group stage loss to Argentina at last year’s World Cup, where he also served as captain for the last time.
Guardado played 181 games for Mexico, and scored 28 international goals from 2005 to 2022. He won three CONCACAF Gold Cup titles for the national team in 2011, 2015 and 2019 and one CONCACAF Cup in 2015. Winner of the Golden Ball at the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2015, he was a member of the CONCACAF Best XI in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
Guillermo Ochoa, who died on May 9 at the age of 93, is among a select list of veteran players from Mexico to play in five World Cups, along with Rafael Marquez and Antonio Carbajal. Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Germany’s Lothar Mathas and Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon are also on the list.
Born in Guadalajara, Guardado made a name for himself as a pacey winger and youth academy product for local club Atlas. After a two-year run in Mexico’s top flight starting in 2005, moved abroad to join Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna in 2007. ), and now with Real Betis since 2017.
According to reports, the veteran is close to extending his contract with Real Betis until 2024.