Sergio Ramos will play 2022 World Cup with white beard

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"It's a hard time, we've already experienced it in the past, and we've proven ourselves good at going beyond things, we've always stood up to the circumstances and, even if I hoped for a better ending, we have to accept that football is this also", he states. "I admit that Spain is better than us in many ways and we had to choose tactics keeping that in mind".

Spain joined Argentina, Portugal and Germany among the big guns to have been eliminated from this World Cup, but Iniesta said he believed the future for the Spain team was bright. "The manager always thinks the best for the team and he's got to make the decisions even though one agrees with them or not".

Using his feet expertly, Akinfeev kept out Iago Aspas's penalty to secure Russian Federation a place in the quarter-finals, and his moment of magic was captured perfectly by a commemorative banknote that has been in circulation since May.

Ramos also backed coach Fernando Hierro, who is not expected to continue as coach ahead of the UEFA Nations League. "We'll be forever thankful to our coach".

The midfield maestro, who is also leaving Barcelona to play for Japanese club Vissel Kobe next season, scored 13 global goals in his career, most notably the victor in extra time of the 2010 World Cup final.

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"I am not in favour of many changes", Ramos said.

The hosts toppled Spain 4-3 in a penalty shoot out after the two teams were impossible to separate at 1-1 after 120 minutes of dour round of 16 action. Referees and video officials have consistently penalized handballs in the box at this World Cup.

"In football there's a fine line between winning and losing". "We understand that in these moments you have to be effective".

The Croatians, whose best previous showing was a trip to the semi-finals in 1998, were also listed at 11-2 despite a much less impressive performance in Nizhny Novgorod than in their earlier group matches.

It didn't take long before the finger-pointing started, and there were plenty of targets: the newly elected federation president, the inexperienced new coach, the struggling goalkeeper, the aging members of the golden generation.

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