October 3, 2023

Spain’s most capped player, Sergio Ramos, has explained the reasons for announcing his retirement from the Spanish national team.

The 36-year-old Paris Saint-Germain defender, who won the FIFA World Cup in 2010 as well as two European Championships, has not played for Spain since March 2021.

He cited a lack of playtime and exclusion from the new coach, Luis de la Fuente’s plans as reasons for his retirement announcement.

Prior to the discussion he had with the new coach, Ramos had missed the Euro 2021 championship due to injury.

The last few years of his career haven’t gone according to plan as he wanted to represent the national team in the world cup but was not included in Spain’s squad for FIFA World Cup 2022 under former manager Luis Enrique who was dismissed after the quarter-final exit to Morocco.

When Luis de la Fuente was announced as the new coach of Spain after the Qatar world cup 2022, there were rumours that Ramos will be called up for the next international fixtures. But according to Sergio Ramos, the coach called him and said he will not count on him regardless of how he performed at the club level.

This made him realise his time is up, forcing him to announce his retirement for good.

Announcing his retirement via his verified Instagram on Thursday, the 52 times Spain captain wrote, “The time has come, the time to say ‘goodbye’ to our beloved and exciting national team.

“This morning, I received the call from the current coach who told me that he doesn’t and will not count on me, regardless of the level I can show or how I continue my sports career.”

The Spanish FA confirmed to Reuters that the conversation between coach De la Fuente and Ramos took place on Thursday, but provided no further details.

“Humbly, I think that my path deserved to end because of my personal decision or if my performance was not up to the level that our national team deserve, but not because of age or other reasons,” Ramos said.

“Being young or less young is not a virtue or a defect, it is only a temporary trait that is not necessarily related to performance or ability.

“I look with admiration and envy at (Luka) Modric, (Lionel) Messi, Pepe… the essence, tradition, values, meritocracy and justice in football.

“Unfortunately, it will not happen to me because football is not always fair and football is never only about football.”

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