Guatemala's Carlos Ruiz (pictured) celebrates after scoring against visiting Antigua & Barbuda in a World Cup qualifier on September 8, 2015. (Photo: Luis Rolando Solares).
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – Media reports in Guatemala suggest that legendary forward Carlos Ruiz will retire from the national team following Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against visiting St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
Ruiz, who made his international debut on November 18, 1998, against Mexico, has earned 131 caps and scored a team-record 63 goals. He netted twice Friday in a 2-2 draw a Trinidad & Tobago, taking his WCQ goal haul to a CONCACAF-record extending 34 goals.
A recent post from Ruiz’s Instagram account signaled his possible intentions to step away from the selection and expressed gratitude to teammates, who celebrated his achievements.
“When your teammates from the national team take time to say goodbye to you for your work in the national team, it is priceless. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, and young people, I’ll keep on being close to all of you. There will be better things for you in the future. You have great people near you, like Jose Contreras, Paul Motta, Jean Marquez and Marco Pappa, who will lead you and will help you on your path. Many other joys and some sad things will come. Be strong and always keep your head high. Remember that representing Guatemala is a privilege.”
The 36-year-old currently does not have a club, but reportedly is looking for a new one. Most recently, he played for Municipal from 2014-16.
Guatemala (7 points) remains in contention for a place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal from Group C. It must beat SVG and hope that the second-place United States (10 pts.) falls to table-topping Trinidad & Tobago (11 pts.), before tiebreakers are used to determine the group’s other berth.