Sergio Ramos has been left out of the Spain squad for this summer's European Championships, a 24-man party that includes no representatives from Real Madrid.
Ramos, who has played 180 times for Spain and could have become the most capped player in international football history at the competition, has struggled with injuries for Real Madrid this season and played just five club matches in 2021. However, his absence is still a cause for some surprise, particularly as head coach Luis Enrique opted to name two fewer players than the 26 allowed by UEFA.
Ramos has not missed an international tournament since Euro 2004 and was one of the few remaining cornerstones from the Spain side that dominated European football between 2008 and 2012, winning two European Championships and a World Cup. Luis Enrique made a "special mention" of a player he referred to as "our captain" but said that the 35-year-old's inability to compete "in the right conditions" since January prompted him to leave Ramos out.
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In his place comes Aymeric Laporte, the Manchester City defender who recently declared for the Spanish national team. Born in Agen, southwest France, and of Basque descent through his great-grandparents, Laporte made 51 appearances in French youth teams but struggled to break into Didier Deschamps' squad. He received Spanish citizenship earlier this month.
"The possibility of Laporte is a good reinforcement for the national team, we have no doubts about his call," said Luis Enrique. "He is a player who can help us a lot and has international experience."
With the likes of Lucas Vazquez and Dani Carvajal also not called up this is the first tournament squad in Spain's footballing history not to include any representatives from Real Madrid. Luis Enrique confirmed that if Carvajal had also not struggled with injuries he would have been in the squad.
Spain squad for European Championships
- Goalkeepers: Unai Simon, David De Gea, Robert Sanchez
- Defenders: Aymeric Laporte, Pau Torres, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba, Jose Gaya, Diego Llorente, Cesar Azpilicueta
- Midfielders: Rodri, Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Thiago, Koke, Fabian, Marcos Llorente
- Forwards: Dani Olmo, Mikel Oyarzabal, Alvaro Morata, Gerard Moreno, Ferran Torres, Adama Traore, Pablo Sarabia