Sergio Ramos announces Spain retirement, slams manager

Spain’s most capped player Sergio Ramos has announced his retirement from international football following a phone call with new manager Luis de la Fuente. Ramos, who was part of Spain’s World Cup and Euro winning teams had represented Real Madrid in La Liga and now plays for PSG in Ligue 1.

“The time has come, the time to say goodbye to the National Team, our beloved and exciting Red,” Ramos wrote. “This morning I received the call from the current coach who told me that he doesn’t count and that he won’t count on me, regardless of the level I can show or how I continue my sporting career.”

Ramos made his Spain debut in 2005. He went on to play 180 times for his country, and was part of the squad which won the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

However as Spain pressed a reset button after the 2018 World Cup, he was left out of the national squads for the Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup. After their shock defeat against Morocco eliminated them, Luis Henrique stepped down as manager and before de la Fuente took charge and informed Ramos that he is not part of his plans going forward.

“With great regret, it is the end of a journey that I hoped would be longer and that would end with a better taste in the mouth, on the height of all the successes we have achieved with our Red,” Ramos’ statement continued. “Humbly, I think that that career deserved to end because of a personal decision or because my performance was not up to what our National Team deserves, but not because of age or other reasons that, without having heard them, I have felt.

“Because 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 Modric, Messi, Pepe… the essence, tradition, values, meritocracy and justice in football.

“Unfortunately it won’t be like that for me, because football is not always fair and football is never just football. Through it all I take it with this sadness that I want to share with you, but also with my head very high and very grateful for all these years and for all your support.

“I take back indelible memories, all the titles we have fought and celebrated all together and the tremendous pride of being the Spanish player with the most internationalities. This shield, this shirt and this fan, all of you have made me happy.

“I will continue to cheer on my country from home with the thrill of the privileged who has been able to proudly represent it 180 times. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who always believed in me!”

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