It was a bitter blow from Spain and none more so than Andres Iniesta who announced his retirement after the game. However, Lopetegui was shown the door two days before their opening match following his decision to accept Real Madrid's offer of becoming their new manager after the tournament without informing the national FA.
"We have many great players for now and for the future", Hierro said.
Far from it: Iniesta described it as the saddest day of an worldwide career that spanned 12 years and 131 caps. "At the individual level, a wonderful stage ends", the hero of Spain's only World Cup championship in 2010 told reporters at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, reports Efe.
Iniesta was on the bench, but came on in the second-half as Spain tried to find the victor but it wasn't to be and the tie went to extra time and then penalties. "I arrived wearing a suit, I'll leave wearing a tracksuit", the former Real Madriddefender said two weeks ago.
The last addition to the elite group of 12 nations who have contested World Cup finals was Spain when they won the title for the first time in 2010. "Sometimes the endings are not as one dreams".
The Spanish Football Federation's decision to relieve Julen Lopetegui of his national team managerial duties just hours to the World Cup came back to haunt them when they were sent packing by obdurate hosts Russia. "They are better than us in many ways so I don't believe we should risk going forward, and I think we chose the correct tactic".
And Ramos - who has signalled his intention to play on for his country towards the next World Cup in Qatar - said he remains proud of Spain's efforts despite the upheaval of the coaching change. "But you can be calm when you know you have acted with responsibility, conviction and values".
Ramos said: 'It was an vast, exciting challenge that we faced with all the energy of the world. "I spoke with every player individually more than I had in the past and I had to explain to them why, where and what".