Real Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos has been omitted from the Spain squad for this summer’s European Championships.
The 35-year-old has battled injuries all season, playing just five times in the second half of the campaign in all competitions, and it appears he has not done enough to convince manager Luis Enrique he is deserving of a spot.
Enrique unveiled his squad on Monday and there was no place for Ramos, despite the boss choosing to use just 24 of the 26 player spots made available to him this summer.
In Ramos’ place at the back, there is a maiden call-up for Manchester City‘s Aymeric Laporte, who joins club team-mate Eric Garcia in the squad. Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Leeds‘ Diego Llorente complete the centre-back bunch.
It’s the first time since Euro 2004 that Spain will travel to a major tournament without Ramos, who has been a near-permanent fixture of the squad since making his debut in 2005 and even captained the team during the last international break.
“I told Ramos last night on the phone,” said Enrique of his decision (via Lucas Navarette). “He’s barely played or trained with the squad since January.
“I care about the benefit of our squad and I told him to be selfish so that he could be back to his good form and keep playing for his club and country.”
Ramos’ omission comes just days after it was revealed that he will not feature in Spain’s squad for the Olympics either, meaning the Real man is set for a quiet summer at home.
To add to the surprise, Enrique has not included a single Real player in his squad this summer. Aside from Ramos, perhaps the most surprising omission is that of Nacho Fernandez, who has impressed for Zinedine Zidane’s side in Ramos’ absence.
Instead, the nod has gone to Garcia, who has played a grand total of 360 minutes in 2021 so far – 35 fewer than Ramos.