Fernando Hierro says ‘it’s been a pleasure to coach’ Spain but accepts ‘it’s not my decision whether I stay’ after their World Cup exit.
Hierro was fast-tracked from his role of RFEF technical director to Spain’s Coach at the World Cup after Julen Lopetegui was sacked, but despite leading La Roja out of their group in Russia, they lost on penalties to the hosts in the last 16.
“We all feel pain, we came to do something important, fight for the World Cup, but that’s football,” the former Real Madrid defender said after the game.
“It’s nothing to do with their commitment, companionship and effort they put in every day…
“It’s been a pleasure to coach them. If there’s anything to criticise us for, I’m the Coach and I’m the one most responsible for what’s happened.
“The team have given everything since our first day together. It’s difficult to attack for 120 minutes, we tried everything. Our effort was brutal.
“We already said that in the three group matches, there was margin for error and from the last 16, there wasn’t, and we understood that.
“Honestly, the team have behaved professionally on a day-to-day basis, both those who played and those who didn’t.
“It’s been wonderful to coach him and from there I empathise with the fans. They’re the ones feeling a lot of pain.
“Game plan? I don’t think it was that we were unable to pose danger, we tried to do so all over the pitch.
“World Cups are very complex, unless you get ahead quickly. After they equalised, we reacted well, we started the second half well…
“We minimised the number of errors, transitions and mistakes from our first three matches, so in that aspect there’s nothing to criticise the team for.
“My future? It’s not my decision whether I stay. After this elimination, what I do doesn’t matter.”