Captain Sergio Ramos has been dropped from the Spain squad for Euro 2020 by coach Luis Enrique, who has invited Manchester City’s Aymeric Larpote.
Ramos has endured a campaign riddled with injuries since the year began. He underwent a knee surgery in January and was only able to start two LaLiga games in 2021.
The 35-year-old picked another injury last week and played no part in Real Madrid’s final game of the season against Villarreal on Saturday as they missed out on the LaLiga title to Atletico Madrid.
His woes deepened even further when Luis Enrique said he told Ramos on the phone on Sunday night that he was not in the squad and addressed the 35-year-old’s absence just after announcing his 24-man squad.
“I’d like to send message to Sergio Ramos, our captain, who is not on the list as he has not been able to compete since January in the right condition, or even train,’ he said.
“It was difficult and tough decision but it’s the best thing for the team.”
Ramos, who has made 21 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid this term, including 15 LaLiga games, admitted the decision hurt but revealed the best thing to do was focus on returning to full fitness.
“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,’ he said on Twitter.
“It hurts not to represent your country, but I have to be honest and sincere.
“I have fought and worked every day, in body and soul, to be able to reach 100% for Real Madrid and the national team but things don’t always work out the way we’d like.
“I wish all my team-mates the very best of luck and I hope we have a great Euros. I’ll be another fan cheering on from home,” Ramos said.
Ramos is Spain’s all-time appearance maker with 180 caps and is their eighth-highest scorer.
Meanwhile, Larpote who only just switched nationality has been called up by Enrique.
Laporte has made 51 youth level appearances for France but has failed to get an invite to join Didier Deschamps side.
Spain squad – in full
Goalkeepers: David De Gea (Manchester United), Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao), Robert Sanchez (Brighton)
Defenders: Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Jose Gaya (Valencia), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Eric Garcia (Manchester City), Diego Llorente (Leeds United), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid)
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Rodri (Manchester City), Pedri (Barcelona), Thiago (Liverpool), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Fabian (Napoli)
Forwards: Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Adama Traore (Wolves), Pablo Sarabia (PSG).