HomeFootball NewsLima Finally Retires From International Football

Lima Finally Retires From International Football

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In Andorra’s 3-0 defeat away to Switzerland, Ildefons Lima made his final appearance for the Andorran national team after spending 26 years as an international for the European minnows.

The 43 year-old defender made his Andorran debut in the country’s second ever official match back in 1997, as they suffered a 4-1 loss to Estonia in a game in which he scored.

Born in Barcelona, he has been a stalwart for the ‘The Tricolours’, collecting 137 caps and scoring 11 goals, mainly from the penalty spot, which is six more goals than anyone else in the history of the national side.

Lima has had an interesting club career playing in Greece, Mexico, Spain, Italy and back in Andorra since 2012. He was a key part of the domestically successful reigns for both FC Santa Coloma and Inter Club d’Escaldes before forming a part of the FC Andorra B side that, owned by Gerard Pique, are the reserve squad to FC Andorra who gained promotion to the Spanish second-tier in 2022, only just missing out on a top six finish and the playoff places in the Segunda.

Andorra have greatly improved in the last half a decade or so, one time being 206th in the world in December 2011. They are now the world number 154 and are rising with Koldo Alvarez’s side earning a goalless draw with Belarus at the weekend before frustrating the Swiss.

The Guinness World Records confirmed that Ildefons Lima’s international career was the longest of anyone ever back in 2021 and he has extended that record by a further two years. He had been dropped in 2020 by the Andorran Football Federation but was recalled by the aforementioned Koldo Alvarez.

Lima is expected to continue playing club football, despite his international retirement, with the FC Andorra B side, who play in the regionalised seventh tier of Spanish football.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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