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History maker Andres Iniesta confirms Spain retirement after Russian Federation defeat

02 July, 2018, 01:49 | Author: John Swanson
  • Iniesta retires from international football

Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta has announced his retirement from global football, following La Roja's loss to Russian Federation in the round of 16.

"Sometimes the endings are not as one dreams".

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 worldwide cap.

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid follow just behind with 18 and 13, respectively, and the first Spaniard to ever find the net at a World Cup was none other than Athletic Club's Alejandro Irarragorri in 1934, the nation's debut appearance.

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However, Iniesta did accept coach Fernando Hierro's decision to leave him out of the starting XI.

"It's bad, it's tough", he said of Spain's exit.

The Spanish King, he said, congratulated the Russian president on Team Russia's win in today's game and they advancing to the quarterfinals.

De Gea got close to two penalties in the shootout which saw Spain eliminated by the tournament hosts but he did not appear to be on his game on Sunday afternoon.

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"It is a reality that is my last match with the national team - at an individual level a wonderful stage is over".

From 1950 to 1978 there was something of a goal drought for Spain at the biggest global tournament with only two coming in 1962 in Chile and four in England's tournament held in 1966.

The World Cup and two-time European Championship victor begged on the BBC for his country to change tact on the field following their premature exit.

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