Sergio Ramos vowed to continue playing for Spain, saying he would go to Qatar “with a grey beard” in order to get over the pain of penalty shoot-out elimination to Russia.
The Real Madrid captain was instrumental in the goal that had given La Roja an early lead against the hosts and scored his penalty in the nail-biting climax of the game but he could only watch helplessly as Igor Akinfeev kept out Iago Aspas’s spot-kick to send Russia through and eliminate Fernando Hierro’s team.
“F***, it’s difficult,” he said to reporters through tears. “It’s so many hours, so much effort and so much dedication. Maybe this wasn’t our best moment but we go home without having lost a game.
“I would like to carry on playing [for Spain] for many more years because I’m going home with a terrible pain. I’m going to have to go to Qatar with a grey beard if necessary.”
One veteran who did call time on his Spain career was 34-year-old midfielder Andres Iniesta, scorer of the goal that won La Roja their only World Cup in 2010.
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