But, with Spain failing to break down a determined Russian Federation backline, Iniesta was drafted in after 67 minutes and subsequently converted his penalty in the shoot-out after a 1-1 draw.
The odds on England winning the World Cup for a second time were immediately cut from 6-1 to 5-1 after Russia's victory, making them third favourites behind France (7-2) and Brazil (4-1) with bookmaker William Hill.
Preparing for their first major tournament shootout, it looked as if coach Stanislav Cherchesov might struggle to find five men with enough energy left to take a penalty. "I am responsible for this", Hierro stated, adding that he was leaving the World Cup in a good state of mind as the players did everything in their powers. "We'll be back. It's been a very long season but I hope I can be at the next one".More news: Women’s March Calls for Abolishing Border Security at D.C. Protest
The 32-year-old Spaniard - who won the World Cup in 2010 - posted on social media late on Sunday night.
Discussing his worldwide future in January, Pique said: "Yes, I will leave the national team after the World Cup".
The result saw Moscow go into meltdown with tens of thousands of fans in the capital's Federation Internationale de Football Association fan fest crowding around several huge screens as they witnessed what many had believed was unthinkable before the match.More news: Tite tempers Brazil's World Cup hopes ahead of Mexico clash
Argentina and Portugal's eliminations from the World Cup on Saturday has led to much talk over the global futures of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Akinfeev saved Koke's penalty to give Russian Federation the advantage.
"I was frustrated after the injury, but I've been doing a lot of work to make sure I'm back so I can make a contribution to the team", the Tottenham midfielder said.More news: Belgian World Cup player kicks ball right into his face
Ramos himself is not expected to retire following the shootout defeat to Russian Federation today. "Whenever you are knocked out of a World Cup, it is very painful".