Friday, 16 November, 2018

Andres Iniesta retires from global football after Spain exit

Heavy favorites Spain still offer plenty of ways to make money Modal Trigger Spain's Diego Costa Getty Images
Eugene Bates | 04 July, 2018, 02:02

The victory yesterday sparked wild scenes of celebration in Moscow. However, Cherchesov refused to get carried away and spoke like a man on a mission after his side booked a quarter-final clash with Croatia. "These are very simple, not very sophisticated emotions", he added.

"Now it's over and I'm thinking only about the next game". "It wasn't open football on our part. (Spain) played badly, and didn't think it out... by the time the penalty shootout started this was a broken team lacking the desire to confront a challenge which owes a lot to luck but also to courage", the paper said. It would be advantageous to talk about the fact that Lopetegul's exit was a crucial factor.

Hierro rejected any suggestion the team would have fared better had the Spanish federation not made a decision to axe Lopetegui after arriving in Russia.

Spain managed just one win in the entire competition, a slim 1-0 victory over Iran, drawing 3-3 with Portugal and 2-2 with Morocco, before the Russian Federation defeat.

"I put my head on the line to be coach two days before the Portugal match". "I really had to persuade my players that this was the only way out. I put my reputation out there because that's what my job required".

"The critics don't matter so much; we are angry because we weren't capable of taking another step and we didn't rise to the occasion, despite trying everything".

Fernando Hierro led the Spanish stars who were consoled by their relatives as they arrived at the airport with speculation trailing the continuation of certain key players. It's a hard moment that we've experienced on other occasions. It's completely pointless to analyse the past.

"When a decision is made with responsibility and, above all, with values, one has to be calm".

"We were hoping for penalties", Akinfeev said after the match ended 1-1 after extra time, following a Sergei Ignashevich own goal and an assured Artem Dzyuba penalty.

After the shootout defeat in Moscow, in which Iniesta came off the bench for his 131st cap to score Spain's first penalty, the Spanish Football Federation said the midfielder would retire.

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