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Monday 02 Jul 2018 10.40 AM

Iniesta retires from Spain after World Cup loss to Russia

Iniesta, Spain , World cup, Russia

Andres Iniesta, the elegant midfielder who was a symbol of Spain's golden generation, retired from international soccer following the team's loss to Russia in a penalty shootout at the World Cup.

With his precise passes and clever playmaking, Iniesta was a key piece of the Spanish team that dominated soccer not so long ago. But his skills couldn't keep Spain from avoiding another disappointing elimination yesterday the team's third in a row at a major tournament.

Iniesta, who scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final, had already hinted this would be his final tournament with the national team, and he confirmed his retirement after the last-16 match in Moscow.

"The reality is that this was my last match with the national team," the 34-year-old Iniesta said. "On a personal level, it's the end of a wonderful phase. Sometimes the endings are not how you dreamed them." Iniesta was surprisingly benched to start the game against Russia, but came on in the second half with the score level at 1-1. PTI

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