Spain Head Coach Says Not Thinking About Own Future After Russia Loss

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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.

"Let us say this openly, they are better than us in many ways, " he said.

President Vladimir Putin congratulated Russian Federation coach Stanislav Cherchesov over the phone for his side's World Cup win over Spain, who were consoled at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium by King Felipe VI.

Iniesta was a second-half substitute as the Spanish went on to lose 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out after it ended 1-1 after extra time.

"Thank God, we were lucky, that's it", said the keeper, who like his counterpart at the other end, David de Gea, had very little to break sweat over for the preceding 120 minutes. A penalty was the only way they could cause us danger. Russian Federation won a World Cup knockout game for the first time since the Soviet Union in 1966, defeating Spain 4-3 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie.

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Spain legend Andres Iniesta confirmed his retirement from worldwide football following his nation's round-of-16 elimination to Russian Federation.

His place in Roja folklore was assured in 2010 upon hitting the winning goal in the World Cup final against Netherlands, while he also lifted European Championship titles in 2008 and 2012.

His defensive partner Sergio Ramos, who plays for Barcelona's rivals Real Madrid, has always stood by the centre-back's inclusion in the Spain side. Against Russia, Igor Akinfeev starred in the shootout while he failed to save at least two spot-kicks he might have kept out.

True enough, Gerard Pique was the latest to experience a brain fade when he inexplicably raised his left arm to block Artem Dzyuba's 38th-minute header from Alexander Samedov's corner. "On a personal level, it's the end of a wonderful phase".

"This was my last game for Spain", Iniesta told reporters. "A group that has a big ambition to triumph and that is why I am happy about everything". "So I don't believe that we should risk going forward".

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