The Spanish national soccer team returned to Madrid from Brazil around noon on Tuesday, avoiding reporters and not greeting the fans who showed up to express their support.
The team arrived on an Iberia flight from Brazil, where Spain was eliminated from the World Cup, and the players were taken straight to waiting vans outside the concourse.
Pique, Cesc and Diego Costa stayed in South America after Spain’s 3-0 win over Australia, which was also eliminated from the World Cup.
Spain’s resounding win over Australia was meaningless in the wake of its earlier losses to the Netherlands and Chile.
Spain was impressive against an Australian side motivated by the idea of defeating the squad that won the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 European championships.
Fans wearing national team jerseys were disappointed to not get a glance of their heroes and provide some support at a tough time.
Midfielder Andres Iniesta, who plays for FC Barcelona, apologized to fans for the national team’s poor performance in Brazil in a Twitter post.
“Hello to everyone, there are few things I can say at a time like this ... The disappointment of returning home so soon has been really big. We had great illusions about having a good World Cup and it did not turn out that way. I apologize and assure you that we will work to put the national team back where it belongs. A hug for all,” Iniesta said.