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Why is Sergio Ramos not playing for Spain at Euro 2020?

16:30 BST 26/05/2021
Sergio Ramos Spain 2019
A mainstay in the heart of La Roja defence has not been included in Luis Enrique's final squad for Euro 2020 and here's why

Sergio Ramos has been a veteran for the Spain national team, amassing 180 caps and winning a World Cup and two European Championships during his lengthy career.

However, the Real Madrid captain has not been included in the Spain squad for Euro 2020 this summer. 

The decision shocked Spanish football fans and the wider community, but why has Luis Enrique not named the defender in his squad?  Goal looks at the reasons.

Why is Sergio Ramos not playing for Spain at Euro 2020?

A disappointing season with Real Madrid, which saw Ramos sidelined for much of the campaign with injury, is the reason for the defender's exclusion from the Spain Euro 2020 squad.

Spain boss Enrique explained: "Ramos has not been able to compete this season, he has not been able to train with the group."

He added: "I clearly see that it’s a complicated decision. I recommended that he be selfish and that he regains his level to play in his club and in the national team."

The Real Madrid captain went through a successful knee operation in January, but still only started two games in 2021 – and was left on the bench for Madrid's game against Villarreal on the final day of the season.

The 35-year-old was part of a Real Madrid side that finished second in La Liga and completed a trophyless campaign for the first time since 2009-10.

This summer will be the first time that Ramos will not be involved with Spain at international level since 2004, having won the two aforementioned European Championships as well as the 2010 World Cup.

Ramos was naturally disappointed with the news of his exclusion from the squad, but accepted the rationale of Enrique.

He wrote on his Instagram: "After a tough few months and a strange season unlike anything I have experienced in my career comes the Euros.

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

"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's final squad for Euro 2020

Position Spain players
Goalkeepers David de Gea, Robert Sanchez, Unai Simon
Defenders Aymeric Laporte, Jose Gaya, Jordi Alba, Pau Torres, Eric Garcia, Diego Llorente, Cesar Azpilicueta
Midfielders Marcos Llorente, Sergio Busquets, Rodri, Pedri, Thiago, Koke, Fabian
Forwards Dani Olmo, Mikel Oyarzabal, Gerard Moreno, Alvaro Morata, Ferran Torres, Adama Traore, Pablo Sarabia

Luis Enrique named a 24-player Spain squad for Euro 2020, despite being permitted to name 26 individuals on the panel.

While Ramos was not included in the group, Manchester City centre-back Aymeric Laporte has been named following his switch of allegiance from France.

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is one of the elder statesmen of the squad and will captain the team in the absence of Ramos.

Remarkably, Enrique has named a squad completely devoid of any Real Madrid players.

Click here to see all 24 Euro 2020 squads.