Spanish Superstar Quits International Football After Russia Defeat

General view of the shirt of Spain’s Isco.

REUTERS/Jon Nazca

Spain legend Andres Iniesta has decided to bid farewell to international football after seeing his side get knocked out of the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018.

The legendary midfielder came on as a second-half substitute in the 67th minute, but could not help his side beat Russia in the round of 16 encounter. The hosts won in the penalty shoot-out after the score being tied at 1-1 until extra-time.

Iniesta was the first Spain player to score in the shoot-out. Russia went onto claim the penalties battle with a 4-3 margin.

“This was my last game for Spain,” Iniesta told Radio Estadio.

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He would have loved to repeat the 2010 heroics, when the Spaniards won the World Cup, but it wasn’t meant to be. Spain did not play to their potential after being touted as one of the favourites, with just one win from four games in Russia.

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“A marvellous spell is over. Sometimes the end is not as you dreamed it,” added Iniesta.

The midfielder, who earlier left Barcelona to finish his career in Japan, will always be a name in the Spanish folklore.

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He hit the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final against the Netherlands, besides lifting European Championship titles in 2008 and 2012.

Considered as one of the best midfielders of his generation, Iniesta featured in a total of 131 appearances for Spain, and scored 13 goals in return.