Andres Iniesta retires from worldwide football after Spain exit

The Spaniard equalled the record for the most saves in a Premier League match last season when he made 14 stops against Arsenal in December but he looked suspiciously jittery for Spain.

Perennial underachievers on the global stage, Spain rid themselves of that tag during a glorious cycle between 2008 and 2012 when they won back-to-back European Championships and a first World Cup.

Spain captain Sergio Ramos was in floods of tears following a penalty shoot-out defeat to host nation Russia on Sunday, with Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev saving the spot kicks of Koke and Iago Aspas to see Russia advance 4-3 after the match had ended 1-1 after extra time.

Instead, Spain seemed entirely incapable on increasing the pace as, minute by minute, home hopes grew from a long-shot dream, through a gradual realisation that their highly-ranked rivals were not actually that unsafe, to eventual delirious celebration.

In the end he needed only four after Akinfeev's heroics completed one of the all-time great World Cup backs-to-the-wall performances and sent Russian Federation into the quarter-finals.

As a result, the game was decided on penalties which were won by Russian Federation.

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David de Gea was in a very honest but defiant mood following Spain's shock World Cup exit at the hands of Russian Federation on Sunday.

"Andres Iniesta, his last game probably, for Barcelona, for Spain, now going to Japan".

Spain led in the 12th minute when Ramos helped force Russia's Sergei Ignashevich into an own goal when his back was turned to the play.

David de Gea has not had the best World Cup.

So often, he has rescued points for United by taking to the air and clawing away a goal-bound strike and he started the World Cup as Spain's undisputed No 1.

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