Andres Iniesta confirms retirement from Spain squad after World Cup exit

02 July, 2018, 05:22 | Author: Miranda Cannon
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Spain lost to Russian Federation 3-4 in a penalty shootout after being held to a 1-1 draw after extra time in their round of 16 match in Moscow.

"It's a reality that this is my last game with the national team, on a wonderful stage", Iniesta, who scored the victor in Spain's World Cup final victory over Netherlands in 2010, said.

After a 1-1 draw at the Luzhniki Stadium, De Gea's opposite number Igor Akinfeev was the hero for Russian Federation, saving penalties from Koke and Iago Aspas.

Naturally, the world was shocked by this upset, with some of the best reactions coming at Spain's expense.

England know their opponents in the last-16 after Colombia topped Group H. The South Americans reached the quarter-finals last time out and are clearly stronger than Japan, who came second in the group.

Sweden and Switzerland have both performed admirably at the World Cup but neither should strike fear into English hearts.


Chelsea midfielder Fabregas has won one World Cup and two European Championships with the Spanish national team.

Akinfeev kept out efforts by Koke and Iago Aspas as the 2010 champions - unbeaten in their previous 23 games - became the latest big-name casualty to exit the tournament after Germany, Argentina and Portugal. "We'll be back. It's been a very long season but I hope I can be at the next one". The Vatreni were back on level terms soon afer through Mario Mandzukic, but neither side was unable to land a decisive blow before the end of the 90 minutes.

'This was my last game for Spain, ' Iniesta told reporters.

Huge men with painted faces held each other in bear hugs and cried tears of disbelief and joy, while others screamed the rallying cries of "Russya" and "Igor, Igor Akinfeev". "I'm sure all of Spain are proud of us".

Russian fans are daring to dream their team could win the World Cup. I was appointed head coach three days before [Spain's first game in] the World Cup.

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