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Russia goalkeeper Akinfeev ends 15-year national team duty

Sportsnet.ca
Russia goalkeeper Akinfeev ends 15-year national team duty
Russia goalkeeper Akinfeev ends 15-year national team duty

MOSCOW — Igor Akinfeev, whose penalty shootout saves helped host Russia eliminate Spain from the World Cup, has retired from the national team.

The 32-year-old Akinfeev says it is a "logical conclusion" after 111 appearances over 15 years. He made his debut within weeks of his 18th birthday.

Akinfeev says he wants to concentrate on playing for CSKA Moscow, which hosts Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday.

As Russia captain, Akinfeev helped the team exceed all expectations at this year’s World Cup. His two penalty saves lifted Russia to a 4-3 shootout win over Spain in the round of 16 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Akinfeev’s last national-team appearance was a shootout loss to Croatia in the quarterfinals.

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