"But in the end, we are the ones who have the ball".
A Spain legend Andres Iniesta announced his retirement from worldwide football here on Sunday after their shocking loss to hosts Russian Federation in the pre-quarterfinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Hierro also declined to place the blame for Spain's exit on the coaching drama so soon before the tournament.
Spain came to the finals unbeaten in 20 matches since Lopetegui took over following Euro 2016, with the 2010 world champions winning just once in four games with Hierro at the helm.
After the latest shock result of what has been an absolutely majestic World Cup tournament, some of the game's leading nations will have to answer some very tough questions.
It was the classic "tiki-taka" style that led to a World Cup title in 2010, bookended by a pair of European Championships.
Hierro, composed and calm after the loss, said he had no other choice but to accept the position to coach the team. "It had to be made".
Ahead of the game, Sport FM presenter Sofronov said he would mark a seemingly improbable Russian win by donning a dress for work - a pledge he fulfilled on Monday by wearing a fetching peach-colored number.
Asked if he blamed the Federation, he said: "No, we can't go finger pointing and laying blame. The coach understood that it was better that way".
It has been confirmed that legendary midfielder Andres Iniesta has retired from Spanish worldwide duty.
Ramos was involved early in pressuring Russia's Sergey Ignashevich into an own goal to give La Roja a flawless start, but the hosts equalised before the break when Artem Dzyuba converted a penalty awarded for a Gerard Pique handball.
"The whole 23 of them have been great, they have worked hard, they have great solidarity, they are great professionals".
Spain's number one made a bad mistake to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to score from the edge of the box in a 3-3 draw with Portugal to start the group stage. "The man of the match is our team - and our fans".
De Gea has endured a awful tournament, becoming the goalkeeper that has made fewest saves from at least three games at a World Cup finals since 1966.
With his precise passes and clever playmaking, Iniesta was a key piece of the Spanish team that dominated soccer not so long ago.
"What I am clear about is that I'm proud of the way Hierro and his staff have behaved", Rubiales nevertheless declared.
But for all the talk of tactics and generational change, Spain's 2018 World Cup will be remembered for a simple act of self-sabotage.
"Croatia in a insane drama broke Denmark with penalties and progressed to the quarter-finals, Subasic hero of the match!" said the Tportal website.
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