Omission from Spain’s Euro 2020 squad hurts, Ramos confesses
Spanish head coach Luis Enrique’s 24-man list for the postponed tournament was released at midday in the Iberian country.
And despite being allowed a total of 26 players, he opted to hand Ramos his first-ever snub from a major tournament since starting to represent the nation on the big stage at Euro 2004.
Simultaneously, the development also marked the first time in La Roja’s 100-year history that not a single star from the Bernabeu giants will be present at such a competition of note.
Not long afterwards, Ramos took to social media to address being overlooked by Enrique.
“After a few f*cked-up months and a strange season unlike anything I have experienced in my career comes to the Euros,” he began, in a message which contained text in Spanish before a watered-down English version.
“I have fought and worked every day, in body and soul, to be able to reach 100 per cent 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 as we’ve always done,” Ramos went on.
“It hurts not to represent your country, but I have to be honest and sincere.
“I wish all my teammates the very best of luck and I hope we have a great Euros,” he went on.
“I’ll be another fan cheering on from home.
“A big shout to everyone and Viva Espana and Hala Madrid always!” he signed off while sharing photos of himself with the iconic trophy after two wins at the continental championships in 2008 and 2012.
Explaining the decision, which has been partly inspired by Manchester City defender, Aymeric Laporte’s switch from France to Spain, Enrique said: “I’d like to send a message to Sergio Ramos, our captain, who is not on the list as he has not been able to compete in the right condition since January, or even train with group.
“I told him by phone last night. It was difficult and tough, but it’s best for the team.”
While Ramos is obviously affected by being denied the chance to lead his country in hometown Seville for their three Group E games against Sweden, Poland and Slovakia starting June 14, he seems to have taken the news relatively well.
“It was a very difficult decision but he [Ramos] has not been able to play this season and has hardly trained since January,” said Enrique. “I called him yesterday [Sunday] – it was hard, difficult. I feel bad, because he is very professional and he helps the national team a lot. And he can still help it in the future. But I have to look for the best for the squad.”
Enrique could have picked a 26-man squad instead of the usual 23 after Uefa brought in the change to lessen the load on players after a club season compressed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the squad are goalkeepers Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), David de Gea (Manchester United) and Robert Sanchez (Brighton).
The defenders are Jose Gaya (Valencia), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Eric Garcia (Manchester City), Diego Llorente (Leeds) and Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), while the midfielders are Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodri (Manchester City), Pedri (Barcelona), Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Fabian Ruiz (Napoli), and Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid).
The forwards in they squad are Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Adama Traore (Wolves), and Pablo Sarabia (Paris St-Germain).
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