Andres Iniesta has announced his retirement from international football after Spain’s penalty loss to Russia, a result which eliminated the La Furia Roja from the 2018 World Cup.
Iniesta, who scored Spain’s winner against The Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup final, came on as a substitute in his team’s game against the 2018 competition’s hosts.
The 34-year old midfielder began spot-kick duties for Spain and converted his own penalty past goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. However, his teammates, Koke and Iago Aspas, failed to bury the ball past the Russian goalkeeper, leading to the team’s exit.
Iniesta expressed sadness as he confirmed his retirement, saying his national team career ended on an indifferent note.
The former Barcelona player said, “It is a reality that is my last match with the national team.
“Sometimes the endings are not as one dreams. It is the saddest day of my career.”
Iniesta, who made his debut in 2006, also helped Spain win the European Championship in 2008 and 2012 during a glittering 12-year international career.