Ramos: Spain can replace Alonso, Xavi

The midfield veterans were among a handful of players to retire after the World Cup, but the Real Madrid defender says there is more quality emerging.
Sergio Ramos acknowledges Xavi and Xabi Alonso were essential to Spain's modern success but says they are replaceable.

The experienced midfielders amassed more than 240 senior caps between them and were vital components to the sides that won back-to-back European titles and the 2010 World Cup.

Both players opted to retire from intenational football following the dismal campaign in Brazil this summer but Ramos is confident there are quality replacements waiting in the wings.

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"Both Xavi and Xabi Alonso were important to the team, fundamental in the years of success, but we must not forget there is a new generation with great enthusiasm and quality," he is quoted as saying by AS.

Spain takes on France in a friendly clash this week with something of a revamped squad after Vicente del Bosque left out the likes of Juan Mata, Gerard Pique and Fernando Torres, but Ramos believes the absence of a number of stars does not signal a significant change in the team's approach.

"I don't think there is a theme of change," he added. "The national team has always had its identity and that shouldn't change, even if players have left the team. We are here to help the new players adapt in the best way but, in the end, we all set out to do things the right way."