The 34-year-old, who scored the winning goal at the 2010 World Cup final, won 133 caps in an worldwide career spanning 12 years, during which he also won European championship titles in 2008 and 2012. "Not just our fans, but the fans of other countries are getting a sense of this atmosphere and understood that Russians really know how to play football and want to play football". I've always thought that in football the coaches end up being ex-players.
I did find an interesting tweet that said that if Spain don't qualify today, one of the possible finalists are - Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Colombia, England. Still, World Cup history was on Russia's side after its well-organized team survived two hours of barely having the ball.
"I want to extend my honest thanks to an exemplary professional", he said.
With Spain taking first, the shootout was poised at 2-2 when Akinfeev dived to his right to push away the kick by Jorge "Koke" Resurreccion. Turmoil erupted two days before the opening game, when the federation fired the head coach. Lopetegui was sacked because he had failed to tell the national soccer federation he accepted an offer to coach Real Madrid after the tournament.
After tough matches in a group also containing Portugal, Iran and Morocco, Silva and coach Fernando Hierro both called on Spain to be more meticulous and cut down on errors. 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. Spain are one of the most unconvincing group leaders. The scores were 1-1 before the shootout with the Spain goal also coming in form of a Russian own goal. The 38-year-old defender diverted a crossed ball into the net with his heel as he and Ramos got tangled up.
In the survey we asked the simple question, 'Who was responsible for Spain's elimination?' Rubiales, president of the RFEF, received 52.5% of the votes (108,752).
But the chant roared by the 80,000-crowd packed into Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium - the same word echoing in bars and metro stations and shouted in Komsomolsk-on-Amur 6,000 kilometres (3,800 miles) to the east - was "Ro-ssi-ya!" over and over again.
David De Gea was among the players expected to lead the new generation, but he disappointed in Russian Federation following a superb season with Manchester United. The king is a soccer fan who, as crown prince, attended the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg to see Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0.