Spain went out of the FIFA World Cup on penalties against Russia, in what was now officially Andrés Iniesta’s last appearance ever for the national team. He has not fully retired, as he will play for Vissel Kobe next season, but he will never don La Roja’s kit ever again in an official match.
Iniesta came on with 67 minutes gone and he gave the team forward drive. One telling stat compares how often Real Madrid’s Isco played the ball forward vs. his Barcelona compatriot:
Or to put it another way: Iniesta, who was on the pitch for less than half as long, made more (13).— Jonathan Liew (@jonathanliew) July 1, 2018
Iniesta also scored his penalty in the shootout. That was his last kick ever for Spain. Not a bad ending for a legend, although of course he would have liked it if they had gotten further in the tournament. This was a disappointing showing for his team, but on sober reflection - he cannot be disappointed with his international career.