The news

 

Sergio Ramos has been left out of Spain’s European Championship 2020 squad by Coach Luis Enrique.

The 35-year-old is his country’s most-capped player, with 180 appearances for Spain since making his debut in March 2005.

Luis Enrique confirmed on Monday that defenders Pau Torres, Aymeric Laporte, Eric Garcia, Diego Llorente, and Cesar Azpilicueta had been chosen instead.

No Sergio Ramos and players from Real Madrid

Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for the European Championship has a number of notable absences, but what is most striking about his selection is that he hasn’t included a single Real Madrid player.

It’s the first time it has happened in a Spain squad for a major international competition, with Sergio Ramos, Nacho Fernandez, and Marco Asensio all missing out as Luis Enrique named just 24 players, despite being able to name 26.

Spain have never gone to a major tournament without a Real Madrid player before, and it has only been close to happening once. Back in 1950, Luis Molowny was the only Los Blancos player chosen.

Real Madrid have historically been one of the clubs to have had more Spain players than anybody.

At the World Cup 2018, there were five included, and five again in 2010 – only bettered by the eight taken to Euro 1988.

The explanation of Luis Enrique

“He hasn’t been able to compete during this season, especially since January, in the right conditions,” Enrique said in a news conference.

“Not just compete, but even train with his teammates. It wasn’t easy. Yesterday evening I told him. We had a telephone conversation. It was difficult, I understand it. I feel bad because he has always been very professional.”

“It’s a complicated decision, but I always look for what’s best for the team and the group. I recommended that he be selfish, think about himself and recover 100%, to regain his level and to keep playing for his club and the national team in the future.”

The reaction of Sergio Ramos

Ramos reacted to the news on social media shortly after, expressing his sadness at a torrid last few months with injuries that have ruined his season.

“After a few sh*tty months and an odd season, different to anything that I’ve experienced in my entire career, the European Championship [omission] adds to that.”

“I have fought and worked every day on my body and soul to be able to get to 100 percent with Real Madrid and the national team, but things do not always go the way you want.”

“It hurts me to not be able to help my team more, and to not play for Spain but, in this case, it is better to rest, fully recover and, next year, return as I always have done.”

“It hurts not to represent your country, but you have to be honest and sincere.”

“I wish all my teammates the best of luck and hopefully we will have a great European Championship,” he added.”

“I will be cheering you on from home like any other [Spaniard].”

“A warm greeting to everyone and, as always, long live Spain and Hala Madrid!”

A bad season for the World Champion

Ramos has spent the majority of the year watching his team from the sidelines.

His two appearances in La Liga came against Osasuna on January 9 and Elche on March 13.

Stomach problems were followed by a knee injury which required surgery in February.

He returned to the side in the Champions League second leg to Atalanta, before a calf-muscle problem in the international break match against Kosovo added more worries to such a troublesome season.

A psoas injury and positive COVID-19 test meant that his return came on May 5 in the defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, where his below-par performance has seen him remain on the substitute’s bench as his side missed out on the La Liga title on the final day to Atletico Madrid.

Ramos has played just 15 league games for Real Madrid, his worst tally this season with only two of them coming in 2021.

Certainly, injuries had a negative impact not only on Ramos but on the Los Blancos as well.

Enrique faced criticism for that decision, with a perception that Ramos has been prioritizing breaking the men’s international appearance record of 184 caps held by Egypt’s Ahmed Hassan.

Why no players from Real Madrid?

The exclusion of other players from Real Madrid could not be understood. One can accept that Ramos was not fit but players like Marco Asensio and Nacho Fernandez deserved a place in the team.

Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez are lacking fitness, but still, whether they would have been added or not remains a moot question.

The action of Luis Enrique invited criticism and it was obvious because it is hard to believe that no players from Real Madrid would represent in the Spanish squad where there were options.

The omission of Nacho is harder to comprehend for Real Madrid supporters, with him having had an excellent season whereas someone Eric Garcia had just eight appearances in the whole season.

“I don’t question his ability,” Luis Enrique said.

“But I want to bring 24 players and there are three or four who could be on the list and would deserve to be.”

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