Vincente del Bosque has said he was not aware David Villa planned to retire when he substituted him during Spain's final World Cup game.
Del Bosque’s side recued some dignity in beating Australia 3-0, but will be bitterly disappointed with their overall tournament.
Spain exited tamely in the group stage, and a number of players look likely to exit the international scene.
One of those set to retire is David Villa, a goalscorer in the win over Australia.
Villa, who is leaving Europe to play Major League Soccer with New York City - via a loan spell at sister club Melbourne City - was visibly upset when he was replaced by Juan Mata 10 minutes after half-time, but Del Bosque claimed he was unaware it was Villa’s last international.
"He [Villa] certainly seemed very annoyed,” Del Bosque said. “He said it was his last game, but I didn't know that. I'm sure he was upset.
"All I was thinking about is that it was time to kill off the game and we did that."
"This group of players has been a lesson for everyone, they've been really good players and now it's been our time to lose" - Vicente del Bosque
The Spanish manager said there would be “consequences” for the exit, but was not in a hurry to deal with his own future.
"I'll decide in the next few days or next week,” Del Bosque said. “There's no rush. Then we'll talk about it.
"The president, the general secretary and I will talk and look for the best solutions for our football, sensibly and sensitively.
"We will do what is best for our football."
A raft of retirements are expected as Brazil brought the end of a glorious era of Spanish football but Del Bosque said it was not necessary to start again from scratch.
"There's still players who can help the national team a great deal and we must remain aware of that. I won't rule out anyone because of age," he said.
"We've been in control of the national team for six years now and we've topped the FIFA rankings.
"This group of players has been a lesson for everyone, they've been really good players and now it's been our time to lose.
"We have to move on to another (European Championship) qualification phase next and whoever the next manager is, the future is safe.
"We must remain calm in the face of the future."
On the result against the Socceroos – in which Fernando Torres and Mata added to Villa's first-half goal - Del Bosque added: "We've ended our participation in the most dignified way, the players have pulled out all the stops and later, we took control of the game."
Australia boss Ange Postecoglou, whose side had also been eliminated before this match, felt the tournament caught up with them as the bottom-ranked nation in Brazil.
"Obviously it is a very disappointing way for us to finish," he said.
"Full credit to Spain, they are a very good football side and after the first 10 or 15 minutes, when I thought we started well, they controlled the game.
"We looked a little tired. We have faced three world-class opponents (Holland and Chile) and particularly today we struggled."