Published: Mon, July 02, 2018
Culture | By Jeremy Gray

Iniesta calls time on Spain after World Cup exit

Iniesta calls time on Spain after World Cup exit

"It is more complicated than what it seems".

In four matches in his first World Cup appearance, David de Gea goes home having effected just one save in the entire tournament. In extra-time we did everything, again - kept the ball.

It was a very hard and physical match.

Spain dominated possession but were unable to make it count and were punished when Russian Federation were awarded a penalty.

The odds on England winning the World Cup for a second time were immediately cut from 6-1 to 5-1 after Russia's victory, making them third favourites behind France (7-2) and Brazil (4-1) with bookmaker William Hill.

"We were hoping for penalties and that's what happened".

Besides the penalty kicks in the shootout, there were only a total of seven shots on target at his goal through the tournament, and he conceded goals to six of them, including three to Cristiano Ronaldo. I've already said it a lot of times.

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku did something no player has done since Diego Maradona
Roberto Martínez said Eden Hazard and Dries Mertens were also hurt, picking up calf and ankle injuries respectively. The scoreline reads 2-1 in favour of Belgium , and the game is turning out to be a goal fest already.

Spain, which was a favorite to win the tournament, came out strong with a goal off Russia's Sergei Ignashevish's foot, but then evened the match with a goal of his own.

It was also the ninth time that Spain have failed to beat a host of a World Cup or European Championships.

Spain's dominance will do nothing to ease the disappointment following what can now be judged as a truly farcical World Cup campaign.

Vladimir Putin called King Felipe VI of Spain after a FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match between the two national teams. Instead, Artem Dzyuba levelled the scores from the penalty spot before half-time as La Roja were continually frustrated in their attempts to break down the hosts' well-manned rearguard.

It would be a stretch to say Russian Federation deserved their win, with 26 per cent possession and only six attempts at goal compared with Spain's 25, but they had a plan, stuck to it, and fought to the bitter end.

"In 2008, '10, '12, well, we had the players we had, and we played at a level, with a style had nobody had done before, " said Hierro, who took over as coach when Julen Lopetegui was sacked two days before Spain's opener. "We left our pride and soul out there".

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