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Spain: Iniesta retires from international football

Spain: Andres Iniesta retires from international football

July 1, 2018 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The maestro has hung his boots... for Spain.

Andres Iniesta has called it quits on the international front after Spain's shock World Cup elimination following their penalty shoot-out defeat to Russia. The 34-year-old played a periphery role in the Round of 16 clash having lost his spot in the starting 11 and only making an appearance midway through the second half.

Despite scoring the opening penalty in the shootouts, two of his teammates failed to follow in his footsteps, hence Spain exiting the tournament.

"It's a reality that this is my last game with the national team, on a wonderful stage," Iniesta told reporters.

"The endings are not always the way we dream. The national team will continue to be successful because of the level of players we have and that is what they should try." 

Andres Iniesta was part of Spain’s success story at the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and single-handedly won La Roja the 2010 World Cup by scoring the only goal in the final against the Netherlands. With 131 appearances, the veteran midfielder bows out with as La Roja’s fourth most-capped player behind Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Xavi Hernandez.

He scored a total of 13 goals in his 12-year spell.

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