Iniesta hangs up his boots after Spain get the boot

Larry Hoffman
July 4, 2018

Andres Iniesta has announced that he will quit global football after seeing Spain crash out of the World Cup at the hands of Russian Federation.

At 34, and already the match-winner in the final eight years ago, the former Barcelona midfielder announced his global retirement immediately afterwards. But it is already history, and we want to write new history now.

Earlier, Mathias Jorgensen gave Denmark the lead after just 58 seconds but Mario Mandzukic levelled for Croatia in the fourth minute and the sides remained locked at 1-1 at the end of extra time.

Iniesta declined to second-guess coach Fernando Hierro's decision to leave him on the bench until past the one-hour mark of Sunday's match. The host started the tournament with a 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia, with Aleksandr Golovin creating trouble with his free roving role, but Russia's biggest triumph came in its 5-4 win over Spain in the last-16. "I arrived wearing a suit, I'll leave wearing a tracksuit", the former Real Madrid defender said two weeks ago.

In that time, he helped seal success at the European Championship in 2008 and 2012, and scored the goal to clinch the 2010 World Cup, although Spain's past three major tournaments have ended before the quarter-final stage.

Spain sacked their manager, Julen Lopetegui just two days before their first game of the World Cup after he agreed to take over at Real Madrid.

And Ramos - who has signalled his intention to play on for his country towards the next World Cup in Qatar - said he remains proud of Spain's efforts despite the upheaval of the coaching change.

Iniesta also thanked the coaches and the Spanish Football Federation for their support throughout his worldwide career and signed off by praising his family.

"When a decision is made with responsibility and, above all, with values, one has to be calm". "He thought it was the best thing to do".

"The whole 23 of them have been great, they have worked hard, they have great solidarity, they are great professionals. In domestic competitions we were unsuccessful, but we conquered Europe winning the Champions League for the third year in a row, which was an historic achievement".

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