Spain magnanimous in defeat to Russia

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The Independent Football

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) have congratulated Russia and Qatar on their successful bids to stage the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Spain, in partnership with Portugal, had been competing to host the 2018 World Cup but were beaten by Russia.

"The Spanish football federation wishes to extent its most sincere congratulations to the football federations of Russia and Qatar after being chosen to organise the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively" the RFEF said in a statement on their website.

Former Real Madrid and Spain defender Fernando Hierro, who is now the sporting director of the RFEF, said: "Personally I'm hurt for my president (Angel Maria Villar), who is a man who has worked very hard.

"Now all that remains for us is to congratulate our candidacy for the great job they've done. Also we have to congratulate Russia because they are worthy winners."

Asked his thoughts on the reasons behind Russia's success, Hierro added in AS: "They are the personal criteria of the 22 people who voted. We are convinced that our candidacy was wonderful and with wonderful professionals."