Iniesta hangs up his boots after Spain get the boot

Iniesta hangs up his boots after Spain get the boot

Spanish defender Gerard Pique made a couple of critical mistakes and judgement calls in Spain's brief 2018 World Cup campaign, costing his team points by needlessly conceding a late freekick to Portugal in their opening game, paving the wave for Cristiano Ronaldo to score an equalizer.

The 34-year-old dropped to the bench for the last-16 clash, having started all of Spain's three group games, but was introduced on 67 minutes for his 131st global cap.

Andres Iniesta announced his global retirement from the Spain national team on the "saddest day of his career" upon their 2018 FIFA World Cup exit. "Penalties are cruel. The guilty ones are always the players and everyone of us is responsible".

He won 32 trophies at Barcelona, where he made 674 senior appearances, having joined the youth set-up aged 12.

"Just like the whole country, Putin watched the game from start to finish and cheered for our (lads)", Peskov said.

Iniesta will now concentrate all of his efforts playing for Japanese club Vissel Kobe. "But life goes on and we need to think of other things now. The national team will continue to be successful because of the level of players we have and that is what they should try".

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Spain's style of play has been found out during this World Cup.

Iniesta's farewell was frustratingly brief.

Although his omission came as a shock to many, Iniesta said he had been told beforehand that he would not be starting.

"I spoke with every player individually more than I had in the past and I had to explain to them why, where, what, and it has worked out as you see. I believe that my players have been victorious because they have adhered to my strategy". 'But you can be calm when you know you have acted with responsibility, conviction and values.

During the shootout, Celta Vigo front runner Aspas and Atletico Madrid hard man Koke had their kicks saved for Russian Federation to book an unlikely place in the quarter finals after converting all their kicks. But ultimately we tried everything, in a more accurate or less successful way, it wasn't enough.

Cherchesov has now written another page of history, becoming just the second Soviet or Russian coach to win in the knockout stage of a World Cup. What we've done wasn't enough. The Real Madrid forward had three shots and scored with them all and then against Iran he was largely anonymous as the opponents didn's have a shot on target except for the goal that was later ruled out by VAR.

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