Iniesta retires from Spain after loss to Russia

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But to the national media, this latest fiasco was all too familiar.

And so Iniesta's final World Cup match proved his last for Spain, too.

The coach takes decisions whether you agree with them or not. "We had opportunities to win this match but we ended up in a penalty shoot-out which is basically a lottery, and we weren't lucky", Hierro said.

In Spain's most recent debacle, their early exit from the 2018 World Cup after a lacklustre performance against their negative-thinking Russian hosts, the readers of as.com were asked whose door they would lay the blame.

La Roja had dominated soccer before that, winning two consecutive Euros and the 2010 World Cup.

"There is a lot of pain in the delegation, the players, the coaching staff, the workers".

"I don't regret the decision taken with Lopetegui because it was done with conviction and values that aren't influenced by subsequent results", Rubiales is quoted by the Irish Times as saying.

"The Head of State wished both Cherchesov and all members of the national team success in the next game".

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They are sure to be in Samara too, for the quarter-final that now follows; yet another tournament encounter with Sweden. Uruguay, France, Brazil, Belgium, Russia, Croatia and Sweden have already booked a spot in the last 8 of the World Cup.

"I don't think you can talk about the team breaking down or there being any sort of collapse", the former Real Madrid captain said. "The players did their best, as always". If he does make a change, will he go with the experience of a veteran or someone with fresh ideas?

At 34, Iniesta has won everything there is to win for club and country.

A historical victory of Russia's team over Spain is an incredible step forward for a home in the tournament.

Iniesta said the players could not blame turbulence off the pitch for their failure to live up to expectations.

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

Iniesta surprisingly began Sunday's match on the bench but made an immediate impact after replacing David Silva in the 67th minute with his one-touch passing and clever runs into space.

'Yes, I like him, although he's conceded a couple of goals. That is the lowest percentage (nine) of stops by a goalkeeper in a World Cup since 1966.

"What I have clear is that I'm proud of the way Hierro and his staff have behaved".

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