You would never see a man beat defenders at such ease and register smooth passes just like Andres Iniesta. The marvellous midfielder has announced his retirement from international football after Spain’s World Cup exit at the hands of Russia. Iniesta was benched for the all-important round of 16 clash, but had to be drafted after the former champions failed to find the winner. While he injected pace in the game and increased the pressure on the Russian backline, the veteran failed to help his side reach the quarterfinals.
Coach Fernando Hierro didn’t start Iniesta instead giving chance to Marco Asensio alongside David Silva and Isco. As Spain failed to get past a resolute Russian defence, the midfield maestro was called in for David Silva in the 67th minute and he converted the first penalty for his side during the penalty shootout.
After Spain took the lead inside 12 minutes through an own goal from Sergei Ignashevich but Artem Dzyuba converted from the spot to equalise for the hosts. The game headed into the extra time, followed by a penalty shootout as Koke and Iago Aspas missed their penalties to end Iniesta’s glorious Spain career on a disappointing note.
“This was my last game for Spain,” Iniesta told reporters after the defeat, as quoted by Goal.com.
“A marvellous spell is over. Sometimes the end is not as you dreamed it,” he added. Iniesta played 131 games for the Spain national team and scored 13 times, including the spectacular winner in the 2014 World Cup final against the Netherlands.
He lifted two Euro titles in 2008 and 2012 before winning the World Cup in 2010. The genius midfielder recently announced retirement from Barcelona, bringing an end to a glittery career.