A year after being inducted into the EHF Hall of Fame, Spanish hero Santi Freixa announced his retirement from international hockey on Saturday.
During his career, he earned 193 caps and scored 126 goals in a career that dates back to 2000 and coincided with a golden era in Spanish hockey, landing the 2008 Olympic silver medal in Beijing, bronze in the World Cup and gold from the 2005 European Championships and the 2004 Champions Trophy.
A series of injury issues in recent years and the increased demands of the international schedule saw Freixa make an honest assessment of his ability to reach full fitness and duly made the decision to step back following the recent World Cup in The Hague.
When Cathy Harris spoke to him on being inducted into the Hall of Fame last year, he spoke about his surprise and honour, he also said “When you look back on your hockey career it’s more than all about scoring goals. It’s being part of a team off the pitch, and on, sharing experiences and living a way of life.”
Have a look at some of those stunning goals that helped his team to win, Olympic Games silver medal 2008, World Cup bronze 2006, Champions Trophy winner 2004, Champions Trophy silver 2008, 2011, Champions Trophy bronze 2006 and the EuroHockey Championships in 2005.
We have no doubt whatsoever that Santi will stay a familiar face in his beloved hockey and we look forward to the next chapter in the life of this extraordinary young man.
Photograph: Santi Freixa (Frank Uijlenbroek (c))