Iniesta retirement: Spain star calls time on worldwide career after penalty heartbreak

Iniesta retirement: Spain star calls time on worldwide career after penalty heartbreak

Both Spanish federation president Luis Rubiales and coach Fernando Hierro said they had no regrets about the last-minute coaching change that preceded their World Cup despite their second-round exit at the hands of hosts Russia on Sunday.

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Igor Akinfeev saved two spot-kicks as hosts Russian Federation beat Spain 4-3 in a dramatic penalty shootout to reach the World Cup quarter-finals after their last-16 tie had ended 1-1 after 120 minutes.

Ramos himself is not expected to retire following the shootout defeat to Russian Federation today.

"Like the entire country, Putin watched the game from the very beginning to the very end and supported the team", Peskov said.

Speaking directly after the final whistle, Ramos said his team had given everything they could only to come out on the wrong end of the spot-kick "lottery". "We had great hopes for this World Cup and it wasn't to be".

Now that Spain are out of the World Cup, one of Russia, England, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland or Colombia will be guaranteed to participate in the World Cup final.

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The 2010 champions managed only nine shots on target - and precious few of those carried any venom.

But, with Spain failing to break down a determined Russian Federation backline, Iniesta was drafted in after 67 minutes and subsequently converted his penalty in the shoot-out after a 1-1 draw.

Khalid Boutaib was the only player denied by De Gea across his four World Cup matches, but the Morocco forward still beat the goalkeeper in the draw.

Spain was more urgent in extra time after being too passive when it dominated the ball in the 90 minutes of regular time.

Preparing for their first major tournament shootout, it looked as if coach Stanislav Cherchesov might struggle to find five men with enough energy left to take a penalty.

It has been confirmed that legendary midfielder Andres Iniesta has retired from Spanish global duty.