Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque said he was unaware when he substituted David Villa on Monday that it was the 32-year-old's final international.
The country's leading scorer struck his 59th goal in 97 matches but was taken off after 57 minutes of the 3-0 victory against Australia in World Cup Group B.
"He seemed annoyed," said Del Bosque. "He said it was his last game but I didn't know. I'm sure he was upset.
"I was thinking about it was time to kill off the game and we did that."
Villa, 32, has been an instrumental figure in Spain's rise since helping the country win Euro 2008 and was overcome with emotion when he was replaced.
The former Barcelona and Valencia forward, who helped guide Atletico Madrid to its first Spanish league title in 18 years this season, will play his football in the United States next season.
"I thought about everything the team has given me, every day I had the luck and privilege to be here," said Villa. "To play for the Spanish team, from the very first day, has always been a great pleasure."
The defending champions ended their participation in the 2014 World Cup with the win over Australia to finish third in Group B, having already been eliminated following defeats by the and
Meanwhile, 63-year-old Del Bosque, who guided Spain to the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 titles, said he might decide on his future as Spain coach "in the next few days, or next week, there's no rush".
He added: "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."
Despite reports suggesting veteran midfielders Xavi, 34, and Xabi Alonso, 32, will leave the international set-up, Del Bosque said age would not be a factor when it comes to planning for the future.
"There are still players who can help the national team a great deal and we must remain aware of that," he said. "I won't rule out anyone because of age.
"We've been in control of the national team for six years now and have 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."
For the best of BBC Sport's in-depth content and analysis, go to our features and video page.