Sergio Ramos was the villain after his missed penalty allowed Croatia to snatch a late winner against Spain.
The Real Madrid man missed from 12 yards after David Silva was adjudged to have been fouled inside the box. However, Danijel Subasic saved the penalty and Croatia escaped.
It might have surprised many to see Ramos take the penalty. He scored a spot kick in the Champions League final shootout, but most people wouldn’t think of Ramos when Spain or Madrid are awarded penalties.
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And Andres Iniesta has admitted that he, and not Ramos was actually supposed to take the penalty.
Of course, nothing can be changed now. But Vicente del Bosque probably regrets allowing Ramos to take charge of the situation.
“I was going to take it, but Sergio asked for it and was confident,” Iniesta said, per Sport. “Only the person that takes it can miss.
“The confidence is entirely in whoever wants to take it - unfortunately we missed."
Now, Spain have to suffer the consequences of Ramos’ miss and Ivan Perisic’s late winner.
And those consequences are pretty severe. Instead of taking on the third-placed team from either Group B, E or F, Spain will play Italy, who have a 100 per cent record in the tournament and a score to settle after losing to La Roja in the Euro 2012 final.
In a potentially awkward turn of events, Ramos won't be happy with Luka Modric after Subasic admitted the Real Madrid star instructed him on which way to dive.
We'd love to know what Ramos said to Modric when the pair spoke after the game.
Iniesta: We must remain confident
Iniesta says he and his teammates can’t afford to let the loss affect their confidence.
“It’s not good when you lose, but these things happen and now we have to prepare for the game against Italy with the target of going as far as possible,” the 32-year-old added.
"In theory we have stronger teams on paper, but you never know. In football these things happen and you have to be prepared for everything, not just for the moments when you’re being praised.
"It hasn’t gone well, but we must move forward. We’re on the more complicated side in theory, but we’re Spain and we must remain confident."
Unlike in their previous encounter, a 3-0 win against Turkey, Spain failed to create many clear-cut chances. Europe has come to see Spain carve teams apart relentlessly but their inability to carry out the game plan cost them dearly.
Iniesta continued: “You try to find the best option and sometimes it goes well and other times it doesn’t.
“We lacked concrete chances and in the end [Croatia] scored on a counter-attack.
"We went looking for the goal and we were caught out - it shouldn’t have happened but it did.
"We had the penalty and a few more [half chances], but not having any clear-cut chances made everything more complicated."
Iniesta has been one of the standout stars in France and Spain will need him to be at his fluent best against Italy.
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