Iniesta hangs up his boots after Spain get the boot

Diego Maradona defends Man United star after struggles at World Cup

Diego Maradona defends Man United star after struggles at World Cup

Rubiales was quick to make clear he felt no remorse for sacking Lopetegui, who was clumsy in the way he handled his pending move to Real Madrid, but seemingly dismissed because of hurt, personal pride.

"I think we should have countered faster". "Being a good team and good players at a particular time is another".

"I will keep on supporting Russian Federation anyway".

"We have to stay calm".

"I don't regret the decision taken with Lopetegui because it was done with conviction and values that aren't influenced by subsequent results", he said in quotes reported by the Spanish press.

"Now we need to share this hard moment".

To be a strong team is one thing, but you have to be the best on the pitch.

As the late stand-in, Hierro may be spared such stinging criticism but he dropped Iniesta and Dani Carvajal against Russian Federation in Moscow, only to bring both on as substitutes, and then replaced Diego Costa with Iago Aspas, who arguably should have been on from the start. "The situation was what it was. there is no sense in looking back". "I accept the responsibility, I am the head coach".

"I was surprised I thought Spain would be more interesting".

Diego Costa was Spain's best player in Russian Federation and will play a key role for whoever takes over from Hierro.

"There is a lot of pain in the delegation, the players, the coaching staff, the workers", he told reporters.

"Of more than 200 countries who take part only one can win, and we've been among the best 16. But I have no complaints against anybody".

Spain's Andres Iniesta, right, watches with teammates after Spain were defeated in a penalty shoot out by Russia in the round of 16 match between Spain and Russia at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July 1, 2018.

"The endings are not always the way we dream".

"In football there's a fine line between winning and losing". "They certainly did that, and we can look each other in the eye. The players have been extraordinary for their effort, their professionalism, their solidarity".

Defender Gerard Pique may also have played his final match with Spain.

"We have our identity which is because of the type of players we have", he said when asked about the playing style. We need to be realistic, the situation was what it was.

Dressed in an England shirt and a Russian flag draped over his shoulders, he said: "It was wonderful - I lost my voice".

"I believe that it's only the beginning so I have to save my emotions for the future", said Cherchesov, who at times gestured towards the crowd to lift the noise levels."Today we found the right place at the right time and we achieved the maximum we could".

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