Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos left out of Spain squad for Euro 2020

Injury-plagued centre-half pays price for lack of game-time this season

Sergio Ramos has won 180 caps for Spain, scoring 23 goals
Sergio Ramos has won 180 caps for Spain, scoring 23 goals

Spain manager Luis Enrique has left Sergio Ramos out of his squad for this summer's Euro 2020 finals.

The veteran Real Madrid centre-back has had a nightmare, injury-hit season and has managed just 15 La Liga appearances, playing a total of five games in all competitions this year.

Ramos, 35, played for Spain in World Cup qualifiers against Greece and Kosovo in March but since then, has managed only one game – the Champions League semi-final second-leg defeat by Chelsea on May 5.

Ramos's team mate Dani Carvajal also missed out through injury meaning, remarkably, Enrique has not named a single Real Madrid player in his squad for this summer's tournament that was postponed last year because of Covid-19.

Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte has been included after Fifa approved his switch from France to Spain earlier this month.

Pacy Wolves forward Adama Traore and Paris Saint-Germain's Pablo Sarabia were surprise call-ups ahead of Iago Aspas, who finished the season as second highest Spanish scorer in La Liga with 14 goals. Only Villarreal's Gerard Moreno, who has been included, scored more than the Celta Vigo attacker, finishing with 23 strikes.

"I've not included Ramos because he's not been able to play much this season, especially since January he's not been fit enough, and at times not even training with the group at his club," Enrique told a news conference on Monday.

Chelsea 2 Real 0: player ratings from Ramos' last game for Los Blancos

"It wasn't easy, but I called him last night [Sunday] and we had a difficult and tough conversation. I feel bad as he's a player who has always been at the top level and has a future with the national team.

"It's a decision that I've taken for the good of the national team and the group as a whole."

Ramos admitted on social media that while "it hurts" to miss out on the finals, he needed time to recover fully from his injury problems.

“I have fought and worked every day, in body and soul, to be able to reach 100 per cent for Real Madrid and the national team but things don’t always work out the way we’d like," he tweeted.

“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.

"I wish all my teammates the very best of luck and I hope we have a great Euros. I’ll be another fan cheering on from home.”

Spain, who take on Portugal and Lithuania in friendlies at the start of June, are in Group E alongside Sweden, Slovakia and Poland.

Updated: May 24, 2021 05:55 PM

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