Iniesta hangs up his boots after Spain get the boot

Lynette Rowe
July 4, 2018

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

"Sometimes, the end does not happen the way you dreamed it would, and is instead marked by the circumstances".

Spain, one of the pre-tournament favourites, followed Germany and Argentina in making an early exit from the tournament.

In that time, he helped seal success at the European Championship in 2008 and 2012, and scored the goal to clinch the 2010 World Cup, although Spain's past three major tournaments have ended before the quarter-final stage. "It's bad, it's tough", he said. "We understand that in these moments you have to be effective". "We screwed ourselves because we didn't manage to make that extra step".

Fernando Hierro led the Spanish stars who were consoled by their relatives as they arrived at the airport with speculation trailing the continuation of certain key players.

"I don't feel hard done by".

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"I haven't regretted that decision or any other, because they are decisions made with responsibility, conviction and values, and it was not a sporting decision", the federation president said. "The coach understood that it was better that way".

Spain captain Sergio Ramos has appeared to confirm his intentions to keep playing for the national side for the foreseeable future, and says he wants to continue until at least the next World Cup in Qatar in 2022. The main thing is that we bring joy not only to the fans but also to the leaders.

"We played at a level and with a style that nobody had done before".

The 2010 champions preparations were thrown into turmoil on the eve of the tournament with the dismissal of boss Julen Lopetegui and despite winning Group B, they never found form many know they are capable of.

Russian Federation converted their first four penalties and did not need to take a fifth as Koke and Iago Aspas both saw penalties saved by Igor Akinfeev to send the host nation into delirium.

Even the team's commitment was questioned after Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion, who missed one of the penalties in the shootout, had said players didn't watch numerous World Cup games in part because they interfered with the siesta, Spain's traditional nap time.

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