Andres Iniesta has announced his retirement from international football following Spain’s World Cup exit.
The 34-year-old, who scored Spain’s match-winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final, confirmed his decision after La Roja’s last-16 loss to Russia in Moscow.
Iniesta scored Spain’s opening penalty in the shoot-out against the host nation but was powerless to prevent his side losing 4-3 on spot-kicks – having drawn the match 1-1 – and tumbling out of the tournament.
The playmaker, who recently left Barcelona to join Japanese side Vissel Kobe, won 131 caps for Spain.
He said on www.sefutbol.com: “Sometimes the finals are not how you dream them.
“It’s true that it is my last match with the national team, on a personal level it’s the end of a magnificent phase. Overall, I think it’s the saddest day of my career.”
England captain Kane is the top scorer at the tournament in Russia having struck five goals in his team’s opening two wins before being rested against Belgium.
The 24-year-old striker failed to score during the Three Lions’ disastrous Euro 2016 campaign two years ago and admitted that using sites such as Twitter then had a detrimental effect.
Asked what he learned from his first major international tournament, Kane told ITV Sport: “For me, it’s stay away from the hype of it all.
“I was so excited about the Euros, whether that was being on Twitter all the time, or being on news apps, or getting excited because you want to see what everyone’s talking about.
“I feel like it had a negative effect because I was reading too much, I was thinking too much.
“I feel like I’m at my best when I’m just free in my mind and I’m just playing football, so this tournament I’ve changed that, I’ve stayed off social media as much as possible.”
Kane, who is preparing to return to Gareth Southgate’s starting line-up for Tuesday’s match against Colombia, also revealed he has limited the number of World Games games he has watched in an attempt to ease pressure.
“(I’ve) watched some of the (other) games but not watched too many of the games where you are getting caught up in everything,” he added.
“I think that’s the best possible way to go into any tournament because it’s so big – it’s the biggest sporting event in the world – so it’s hard not to get caught up in the emotions and everything, so I just try and stay clear of that.”
— England (@England) July 1, 2018
Provided by Press Association Sport
Russia captain Igor Akinfeev was the hero as the hosts stunned Spain 4-3 on penalties after they played out a 1-1 draw at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
Akinfeev had already made good saves as Russia held on to force extra-time and spot-kicks – but he then saved from Koke and Iago Aspas in the shoot-out.
Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov dropped Spanish-based winger Denis Cheryshev and went with five at the back. The limitations of this became obvious when Aleksandr Golovin scampered down the wing in the fourth minute but had nobody to cross to – he held on and settled for a corner.
Spain, meanwhile, passed and passed and passed. And then in the 11th minute, right-back Nacho was fouled just outside the Russian box, giving Marco Asensio no excuse whatsoever but to deliver a ball into the box.
The Real Madrid star did so and it was a fine delivery, but not as good as Sergey Ignashevich made it look. A fortnight short of his 39th birthday, the CSKA stopper is old enough to know you need to watch the ball. Sadly, he had eyes only for Sergio Ramos, who he successfully wrestled to the floor only for the ball to cannon off his heel for a comical own goal.
Watch all the goals in animation form below: