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Puyol could quit Spain

Barca defender ready to call time on international commitments

By Francisco Acedo.   Last Updated: 18/11/09 3:02pm

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Puyol: Spanish stalwart

Puyol: Spanish stalwart

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Carles Puyol has admitted that he may slip into international retirement after the 2010 World Cup.

The Barcelona defender has been an integral part of the Spanish national side for the last decade.

He has acquired 80 caps since making his debut in November 2000 and tasted European Championship glory in Austria and Switzerland in 2008.

At 31-years-old he admits his body cannot withstand the rigours of domestic and international endeavours for much longer, but insists he will consult with coach Vicente del Bosque and sporting director Fernando Hierro before making any decision regarding his future.

Puyol told Radio Marca: "Is South Africa going to be my last big competition with Spain? It is possible because I am getting older and there are quality replacements ready to fill in.

"My plan is to play at the World Cup and after that hold talks with the coach and Hierro in order to make a choice."

While Puyol's time with Spain may be coming towards a close, he penned a new contract with Barca over the summer which will keep him at Camp Nou until 2013.

The Catalunya native has expressed a desire to play on past that date, claiming that the hard work he puts in on the training ground will help him to prolong his career.

"Physically I am in good shape and every day I work very hard to maintain this level," he said.

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