Spain legend Andres Iniesta announces retirement after World Cup exit

Spain legend Andres Iniesta announces retirement after World Cup exit

Spain legend Andres Iniesta announces retirement after World Cup exit

The 2010 winners went into the tournament as one of the favourites after a string of scintillating friendly performances in the build-up.

Iniesta, who scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final, had already hinted this would be his final tournament with the national team, and he confirmed his retirement after the last-16 match in Moscow.

In the survey we asked the simple question, 'Who was responsible for Spain's elimination?' Rubiales, president of the RFEF, received 52.5% of the votes (108,752).

Hierro was drafted in as coach on the eve of the tournament when Julen Lopetegui was sacked after it was announced he would take over the Real Madrid job next season.

Spain dominated the first 30 minutes, pressing Russian Federation heavily as the hosts struggled to advance beyond the halfway line in humid conditions.

But they won't have numerous veterans to help them, as Iniesta officially retired from the national team and many others are unlikely to be back for the next World Cup.

"We are proud of the coach", he said.

The 34-year-old midfielder has signed for Japanese club Vissel Kobe after spending his entire senior career at Barcelona.

Akinfeev pushed away a 109th-minute shot from substitute Rodrigo who ran hard at goal from near the halfway line. In the 11 minute, Marco Asensio curled a free kick to the back post, where Sergei Ignashevich attempted to mark Sergio Ramos but, instead, deflected the ball into the net for an own goal.

Despite 75 percent possession and more than 1,000 passes, Spain's famed tiki-taka got them nowhere and they had to wait until the 85th minute to test Akinfeev with a low drive from substitute Andres Iniesta. Referees and video officials have consistently penalized handballs in the box at this World Cup.

David De Gea was among the players expected to lead the new generation, but he disappointed in Russian Federation following a superb season with Manchester United.

Aspas almost picked out Carvajal with a cut-back seconds into the start of extra time, which saw Aleksandr Erokhin come on as Russia's fourth sub - the first time the rule has been applied at the World Cup. That defied expectations for the home team, and Russia's path to the final also includes a potential semifinal here.

King Felipe VI of Spain was at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

With Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev watching from the stands, Russia's qualification triggered a wave of enthusiasm for the host nation as thousands celebrated in the capital's iconic Red Square and beyond.

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