David de Gea has described Spain as “f*****” following their shock World Cup exit.
The 2010 world champions were surprisingly beaten on penalties by hosts Russia at the last-16 stage on Sunday.
Manchester United goalkeeper De Gea wrote on Twitter: “To whom supported, suffered and criticised us with respect, thanks. We’re f***** but we’ll get up again and never give up.”
Spain’s loss was the culmination of a disappointing campaign that began in chaotic fashion with the sacking of coach Julen Lopetegui two days before their opening fixture.
They featured in a compelling 3-3 draw with Portugal in their opening group game but then laboured to a 1-0 victory over Iran and were held 2-2 by Morocco.
Spain took an early lead against Russia in Moscow but were pegged back to 1-1 and eventually went down 4-3 in a shoot-out.
Veteran Andreas Iniesta, who scored the winning goal in the final eight years ago, announced his international retirement after the game and the future of other players could be uncertain.
But like De Gea, Koke and Iago Aspas – the two players who missed in the shoot-out – took to social media on Monday to express their determination to fight on.
Midfielder Koke wrote: “One of the hardest days of my career, but football is like that and I will continue to fight to get the successes.
“I appreciate the support, I’m sure this will make me stronger. It is time to reflect and look forward to the future with enthusiasm. For us and you, we will return.”
Striker Aspas said: “In life and in football sometimes you win and in other times you learn. Proud to have defended this country and great group.”