Barcelona legend, Andres Iniesta has retired from international football following Spain’s 2018 World Cup elimination by Russia on penalties.
Iniesta was left on the bench for the last-16 clash on Sunday, having started all of Spain’s three group games, but was introduced on 67 minutes for his 131st international cap.
The 34-year-old was unable to inspire the La Rojo to victory as they were beaten 4-3 on penalties by the World Cup hosts.
“Sometimes the endings are not as one dreams,” Iniesta said at a post-match press conference.
“It is a reality that is my last match with the national team – at an individual level, a wonderful stage is over. Overall, it is surely the saddest day of my career.
“There is relief. The players are there. The important thing is to find the way to success again. It is not easy, it is more complicated than it seems, but the national team will continue.”
Iniesta, who left Barcelona at the end of last season to join Japanese club, Vissel Kobe, lost just 15 games with Spain, winning 96 and drawing 15. He also scored 13 goals.
The midfield maestro scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final against Argentina and won two European Championships in 2008 and 2012 with Spain.