Iniesta announces worldwide retirement: Sometimes the ending isn't as you dreamt it

Cherchesov

"I'm proud and have nothing negative to say to the whole group that has been in Russia, Hierro and all his team, the players, the coaching staff, all those who have been here".

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

Spain have become just the third team after England and Italy to have lost three penalty shootouts in World Cup history.

Spain have now played the hosts of a World Cup on five occasions, and failed to win a single game.

Photos on Spain's website showed Felipe, who as crown prince attended their 2010 World Cup triumph in South Africa, greeting and consoling captain Sergio Ramos and goalkeeper David De Gea.

Among the favourites for the trophy heading into the tournament, Spain joined the likes of Germany, Portugal and Argentina in making an early exit when Igor Akinfeev kept out Iago Aspas' penalty in Moscow.

Argentina press conference by Ever BANEGA and Jorge SAMPAOLI
Indeed, Argentinian journalist Fernando Niembro has even accused the captain of taking over squad selection duties from Sampaoli. Despite the criticism of Argentina, Sampaoli's side moved into a last-16 clash with France Saturday.

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Russian Federation equalized before halftime when Spanish defender Gerard Pique gave away a penalty via a handball in the box.

Ramos hasn't ruled out another World Cup with Spain in Qatar.

According to Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov, the president could not come to the stadium to support the team but followed it on television and twice called Cherchesov throughout the day.

Iago Aspas then saw his effort from 12 yards saved by the brilliant Igor Akinfeev as Russian Federation progressed to the quarter-finals for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Spanish midfielder Andreas Iniesta thanks the crowd after the game.

Huge men with painted faces held each other in bear hugs and cried tears of disbelief and joy, while others screamed the rallying cries of "Russya" and "Igor, Igor Akinfeev". And then we drew Spain, I thought everything would end.

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