We have not been practicing penalties, says Russia keeper Igor Akinfeev

04 July, 2018, 02:02 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Shock as Iniesta left out with Asensio given the nod

A total of 32 national football teams entered the 2018 FIFA World Cup and only 16 of them proceeded to the knockout phase after the group stage, which kicked off on June 14 and ended on June 28.

Russian Federation pulled off a stunning and unexpected victory by beating Spain on penalties in their World Cup last 16 meeting at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday.

Iniesta, who will play for Japanese club Vissel Kobe next season after ending his 22-year FC Barcelona career in May, is confident Spain can rebuild ahead of the next World Cup in Qatar. "I'm not the man of the match, the man of the match is our team and our fans", said Akinfeev, after each converted penalty, and his saves from Koke and Iago Aspas, were greeted with a deafening roar from a crowd of 78,011 at the Luzhniki Stadium.

The 34-year-old midfielder went on to reflect on his global career. It is something very special, not only a dream, but also a great responsibility.

"I appreciate the support, I'm sure this will make me stronger". "At the end, the coach looks at what's best for the team, and that's how I understood it", he added, reports Xinhua news agency.

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'We're f***** but we'll get up again and never give up'. Individually speaking, it wasn't the best farewell, but it can happen in football and life. "It has been my pride to be able to share with all of you all these years".

"Now is the time to step aside", the scorer of the 2010 World Cup final victor said in an open letter. It is not an easy decision.

"Now it's over and I'm thinking only about the next game. (Spain) played badly, and didn't think it out... by the time the penalty shootout started this was a broken team lacking the desire to confront a challenge which owes a lot to luck but also to courage", the paper said. I don't have any doubt that what will come will be wonderful'.

Andres Iniesta, 34, and Gerard Pique, 31 - who won the World Cup alongside Ramos in 2010 - have already confirmed that they are leaving the national setup following a third straight disappointment at an worldwide tournament, with other members of Spain's golden generation including David Silva, 32, and Pepe Reina, 35, also expected to bow out now.

During an era of dominance which delivered two European Championships and a global crown, pass and move was very much the order of the day for Spain.

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