Captain Sergio Ramos Left Out of Spain’s Euro 2023 Team
Spain’s most iconic defensive player Sergio Ramos will not represent the country at the postponed Euro 2020 competition in June and July this year.
Despite his best efforts to recover from an injury-ridden season, Ramos managed to play just five games across all competitions in 2021, prompting Spanish coach Louis Enrique to choose Pau Torres, Aymeric Laporte, Eric Garcia, Diego Llorente, and Cesar Azpilicueta instead.
The 35-year-old Real Madrid center-back is Spain’s most-capped player, with 180 appearances to his name since making his debut in March 2005. He suffered the injury that destroyed the rest of his season while coming on as an 86th-minute substitute in the 3-1 Spanish win over Kosovo in Seville on March 31, 2021.
“I’ve not included Ramos because he’s not been able to play much this season, especially since January he’s not been fit enough, and at times not even training with the group at his club,” Enrique told the public at a news conference held on Monday.
“It wasn’t easy, but I called him last night, and we had a difficult and tough conversation. I feel bad as he’s a player who has always been at the top level and has a future with the national team. It’s a decision that I’ve taken for the good of the national team and the group as a whole,” Enrique concluded.
In a statement on Twitter, Ramos was visibly devastated but also aware that it was the right decision to make: “I have fought and worked every day, in body and soul, to be able to reach 100% for Real Madrid and the national team, but things don’t always work out the way we’d like.”
“It pains me not to have been able to help my team more and not to play for Spain, but, in this case, the best thing to do is rest, fully recover and come back next year like we’ve always done. It hurts not to represent your country, but I have to be honest and sincere,” he added.
With Ramos out, none of the Spanish Real Madrid players will be left to represent their country at the postponed Euro 2020. Despite the absence of some star players, Spain will still feature plenty of talent and remain within the top six favorites to win the championship.
What are your bets, dear readers? Will the absence of the country’s most iconic captain lower the squad’s chances of winning the championship, or is it time for new faces in the Spanish national team?