Did Vladimir Putin phone call inspire Russian Federation to beat Spain?

Dean Simpson
July 4, 2018

"My players are victorious because they followed my strategy", the former national team goalkeeper said.

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 global tournament, with other members of Spain's golden generation including David Silva, 32, and Pepe Reina, 35, also expected to bow out now.

Iniesta admitted that "It's time to step aside", but that "It hasn't been an easy decision", having taken "many months" to mull the decision over.

However, Iniesta's name will forever go down in Spanish folklore as one of the greatest Spaniards to have played for his country. Now we need to analyse things and see what's best for the national team and the federation.

Spain joined fellow big guns Argentina, Portugal and Germany in exiting the World Cup, but Iniesta believes the future for the Spain team is bright.

Ramos was involved early in pressuring Russia's Sergey Ignashevich into an own goal to give La Roja a ideal start, but the hosts equalised before the break when Artem Dzyuba converted a penalty awarded for a Gerard Pique handball.

'He's started this World Cup in a negative way, but I hope he finishes strongly because he deserves it.

"It's very hard", Ramos said. The team did everything possible to try and prove ourselves again. We were about to have heart attacks because of the tension during goal scoring opportunities, and the penalties but thanks to the ideal execution of both of their sexy goalkeepers.

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).

"I'm very proud of my staff and I give them a 10".

Their wedding ceremony - in a town outside St Petersburg - started at 1400 GMT, the same time as the Spain v Russian Federation match kicked off, and the guests kept track of the score in a Round of 16 tie that ended 1-1 after extra-time. "We can not change anything now".

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