Luis Rubiales stands by decision to relieve Julen Lopetegui of Spain duties

Getty Images

Getty Images

Andres Iniesta has retired from global football following Spain's World Cup elimination by Russian Federation on penalties.

"This is unreal, no-one thought it could happen".

Rubiales is now looking for a man who can recover the morale of the team.

Fernando Hierro took charge and the Spanish were viewed as among the favourites to lift the World Cup after winning Group B and entering the half of the knockout draw without the likes of Brazil, France, Belgium and Uruguay. "We need our personality".

The idea that Spain, boasting a squad bursting with winners at club and worldwide level, could be sent home by the lowest-ranked team in the tournament would have sounded preposterous just a month ago, but as the minutes ticked by at the Luzhniki stadium it seemed ever more likely.

Street celebrations broke out nearly immediately on a central Moscow square where a band erupted in a rendition of the Russian anthem as passing cars tooted their horns and men staggered out of a nearby bar waving Russian flags.

Golden State Warriors sign Demarcus Cousins, Lakers add Rondo
Next up, Los Angeles had to figure out what to do with its biggest restricted free agent: Julius Randle . Randle averaged 16.1 points, eight rebounds, and 2.6 assists in all 82 games with the Lakers last season.

Putin was unable to attend the game against Spain at Russia's flagship Luzhniki stadium in Moscow because of his busy schedule, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency, adding Putin watched the game remotely. The penalty shootout was one more example.

"It doesn't bother me and it isn't too important just now", he said.

After the latest shock result of what has been an absolutely majestic World Cup tournament, some of the game's leading nations will have to answer some very tough questions. You asked me about the same thing after the last game we won and I said the same thing, we have started a journey and now we have to continue on it with calmly and responsibly.

Sergei Galunenko, 51, a construction worker, went further: "This is the birth of our national team, that's what this victory means for us".

"I arrived wearing a suit, I'll leave wearing a tracksuit", the former Real Madrid defender said two weeks ago.

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