FOOTBALL fans were left stunned after the veteran defender Sergio Ramos was left out Luis Enrique’s Euro 2020 Spain squad.
Many were surprised by the omission, with the 35-year-old being present in all of Spain’s international campaigns since 2004.
However an injury plagued season has left the defender able to take part in a handful of domestic games this year.
Ramos’s season derailed back in January, when he underwent surgery of a torn meniscus on his left knee.
Returning to the pitch against Elche just over a month later, much sooner than doctors advised, before playing a handful of La Liga fixtures and a Champions League qualifier against Atalanta.
After missing the second leg of Real Madrid’s Champions League quarter-finals against Liverpool due to a positive COVID-19 test before taking on Chelsea at the semi-final.
It was during his teams 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Blues that he picked up his latest injury which has left him sidelined ever since.
Spain boss Enrique explained his decision on axing the veteran, claiming, “Ramos has not been able to compete this season, he has not been able to train with the group.”
“I clearly see that it’s a complicated decision. I recommended that he be selfish and that he regains his level to play in his club and in the national team.”
Ramos took to his social media to express his disappointment at the manager’s decision.
“After a tough few months and a strange season unlike anything I have experienced in my career comes the Euros,” he wrote on his Twitter feed.
“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.
Ramos’ latest injury, tendonitis in his hamstring, comes as a huge blow for his La Liga team mates at Real Madrid as they enter the last four games of the season placed third behind Atletico Madrid.
Spain will take on Poland on June 19 in the first of the group stage matches with a young and refreshed 24-man squad, including Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte alongside Premier League duo Thiago Alcantara and Rodrigo.
SPAIN TEAM IN FULL:
Goalkeepers: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), David de Gea (Manchester United), Robert Sanchez (Brighton)
Defenders: Pau Torres (Villarreal), Eric Garcia (Manchester City), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Diego Llorente (Leeds), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Jose Luis Gaya (Valencia), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodrigo (Manchester City), Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool), Pedri (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Fabian Ruiz (Napoli)
Forwards: Gerard Moreno (Villarreal), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Adam Traore (Wolverhampton), Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Pablo Sarabia (Paris St Germain)
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