After playing 180 times for Spain in a career that has spanned four FIFA World Cups and three UEFA European Football Championships, Sergio Ramos’ career with La Furia Roja-the Spanish national football team, looks to have been ended by the current boss, Luis Enrique.
Enrique released his list of 24 players for the rescheduled tournament, and Ramos’ name was missing. He leads the list of notable Real Madrid players missing from squad selection.
The plausible explanation was that the Real Madrid captain was not fit enough for the tournament that kicks off on June 11. “He [Ramos] has not been able to compete or train. It has not been easy [to drop him]. Yesterday [Sunday] I called him and it was difficult and harsh,” Enrique revealed at a press conference on Monday.
“I feel bad, he is very professional and he helps the national team a lot and he can [help] in the future, but I seek the benefit of the whole group.
“I recommended that he be selfish and that he recovers well, and that he plays for his club and for the national team.”
In central defence, Enrique called up Pau Torres [seven caps], Aymeric Laporte [uncapped], Eric Garcia [seven caps], Diego Llorente [seven caps], and Cesar Azpilicueta [25 caps], who can be deployed in a three-man defensive setup, as he did with Chelsea.
“I am not afraid to face that challenge [of being labelled favourites], but we must evaluate what we are trying to do, what profile of players we have, a young team that wants to grow, that is hungry, that plays football well, that defends well,” Enrique told Marca last week before releasing his 24-man squad.