Vladimir Putin congratulates Russian Federation while King Felipe consoles Spain

Deanna Kelley
Июля 2, 2018

Argentina and Portugal's eliminations from the World Cup on Saturday has led to much talk over the global futures of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) kicks a ball as he takes part in the opening of an exhibition soccer match at the World Cup Football Park on the Red Square in Moscow on June 28, 2018.

But Schmeichel made a smart save to keep the 1-1 stalemate intact through two hours of at times pedestrian football.

The Spanish playmaker came off the bench against Russia in the second half (67') and converted the first penalty for Spain before seeing his team losing 3-4 after heroic performance from Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev who save 2 penalties.

"It's very hard", Ramos said, as per ESPN.

"We were hoping for penalties and that's what happened". Russian Federation won a World Cup knockout game for the first time since the Soviet Union in 1966, defeating Spain 4-3 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie.

Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta, who won the World Cup with Spain in 2010, announced his retirement after the match.

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With 35 minutes on the clock Spain had made 300 passes to the 63 of Russian Federation but had not mustered a single effort on target and led only through Sergei Ignashevich's comical own goal.

It was the classic "tiki-taka" style that led to a World Cup title in 2010, bookended by a pair of European Championships.

With 131 appearances, Iniesta was Spain's fourth-most-capped player, behind Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Xavi Hernandez.

True enough, Gerard Pique was the latest to experience a brain fade when he inexplicably raised his left arm to block Artem Dzyuba's 38th-minute header from Alexander Samedov's corner.

It would be wrong to blame David De Gea for Spain's elimination from the World Cup but what is true is that the goalkeeper has not produced the best four games of his life and statistics back this up.

"The reality is that this was my last match with the national team", the 34-year-old Iniesta said.

"Penalties are a lottery - and we lost today, but I am very proud of these players as captain".

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