Andres Iniesta announces Spain retirement after World Cup 2018 exit

first_imgAndres Iniesta announced his retirement from international football on Sunday after Spain crashed out of World Cup 2018.He was surprisingly benched to start the round of 16 game against Russia but went on in the second half with the score at 1-1. The score remained 1-1 after extra time and Russia went on to win 4-3 on penalties to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.Iniesta departs after experience a glorious international career, during which he won two European Champions title and one World Cup.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGE”It is a reality that is my last match with the national team,” Iniesta said. “Sometimes the endings are not as one dreams. It is the saddest day of my career.”The diminutive midfielder played 131 matches for spain and scored 13 goals, including the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final against Netherlands.Lowest ranked team of World Cup 2018 shocks former world championsIniesta was also a main member of Spain’s golden generation which saw them lift the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.World Cup 2018: Russia stun Spain in penalty shootout to reach quarter-finalsSpain coach Fernando Hierro paid his tribute Iniesta.”I give my whole hearted recognition to one of the greatest players of our history. He’s an outstanding professional. The way he played on the pitch when he substituted on was like he was playing in his first cap and I want to thank him whole-heartedly,” said the Spanish coach.The Spanish footbal federation wrote on Twitter: “We can only say thank you, Iniesta. You gave us the glory, you took us to the top. Exemplary friend, unique, unrepeatable. Eternally Thank you, Andres.”advertisementNo podemos más que decirte gracias, @andresiniesta8. Nos diste la gloria, nos llevaste a lo más alto.Compañero ejemplar, único, irrepetible.Eternamente gracias, Andrésón Española de Fútbol (@SeFutbol) July 1, 2018The midfielder recently left Barcelona after 22 years with club to join Japanese side Vissel Kobe on a two-year deal.last_img