Spain's Andres Iniesta retires from worldwide football following World Cup exit

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Rubiales, who made the decision to remove Lopetegui on the eve of the World Cup, stood by his move.

"I do accept responsibility". "I'm sure all of Spain are proud of us". "After all the criticism following the group stages, we have proven ourselves as a team again today".

The Real Madrid captain said the elimination was "very painful" and it'd be "difficult to get over". "But when you are sure about the way you have done things with responsibility and conviction, the only way is to move forward". "The situation was what it was. there is no sense in looking back". "The president commended the skills and high expertise of the Spanish team, noting however that this time the tactic opted for by Russian coaches has proved to be the only right one", Peskov told journalists.

"I think Russian Federation was playing at home but Spain they were a little bit scared of the atmosphere".

Hierro also declined to place the blame for Spain's exit on the coaching drama so soon before the tournament.

"Some will go and others will come along but we'll all defend this shirt with passion and respect. But I have no complaints against anybody".

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.

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We were hoping for penalties.

It was Modric's sublime pass that put Ante Rebic through on goal, before being brought down by Mathias Jorgensen, and offered Croatia a chance to win just before the lottery of the shootout.

"This morning I was very nervous, but now it is time to celebrate". "The players have been extraordinary for their effort, their professionalism, their solidarity".

Despite overwhelming Spanish possession, the 2010 winners were unable to break down the Russian defence even after extra-time. "But there is a new generation, we have high-level players". Now we need to share this complex moment. Stat company Opta said that was the most since it started keeping track in 1966.

Many would argue it was clear at the time that changing the coach two days before Spain's opening game was unlikely to benefit the team.

"This is a great victory for us, for the whole country, the soul of the country", Mikhail Sitner, 34, from Moscow, said.

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