Spain Have Selected Their Penalty Takers Ahead Of Last 16 Clash With Russia
Fernando Hierro and Spain have already been thinking about the possibility of their last 16 clash with Russia going to penalties, with reports saying La Roja have decided their spot-kick takers already.
Despite the turmoil going into the tournament after Julen Lopetegui was given the boot when it was announced that he was the new Real Madrid manager just days before the tournament got underway, the 2010 winners topped their group and set up a showdown with the hosts at the Luzhniki Stadium.
It's a repeat of a November friendly between the two, which finished 3-3. On that night, captain Sergio Ramos took two penalties and successfully converted both.
Yet, according to a report from AS, the polarising Real Madrid man isn't on the list should their first knockout game end up going all the way to penalties on Sunday.
Spain coach Fernando Hierro has decided his five takers if Russia game goes to penalties: https://t.co/xDPiNxGKX1 pic.twitter.com/ahZ6v5QqiL
- AS English (@English_AS) June 28, 2018
They say that David Silva, who took one of the worst penalties ever seen against Southampton for Manchester City in 2012, will be the first man to step up.
Then, Diego Costa, Isco and Sergio Busquets will assume duties before the 2010 World Cup final matchwinner, Andres Iniesta, completes the five with what could potentially be a decisive effort from 12 yards.
Ramos would typically be one of the leading players to take a penalty in a high-pressure scenario but it appears as though he's taking a backseat under Hierro's tutelage.
Meanwhile, Iniesta says the messy situation with Lopetegui did have an effect on the players briefly but they've moved on from it.
"It was a difficult situation for all of us, nobody enjoyed going through it but it happened," he said as per MARCA.
"From then on, the group responded very well.
"We're all bonding over the goal of winning the World Cup and continue to give our people happiness, which is more important than anything else."
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