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There will be no Sergio Ramos in Spain’s squad for Euro 2020.
The defender, who has captained his country since 2016 and Real Madrid since 2015, has struggled with injury this season and has only played seven times in 2021.
Spain boss Luis Enrique has decided Ramos will not be part of La Roja’s squad, with Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte, who recently switched allegiance from France, included.
Ramos’ omission also throws up a crazy stat of there being no Real Madrid player in the Spain squad at a major tournament for the first time ever.
The 35-year-old has 180 Spain caps to his name and was a central part of the squads that won the 2010 World Cup as well as Euro 2008 and Euro 2012.
On his omission, Ramos tweeted: “I have fought and worked body and soul every day to be able to reach 100 per cent with Real Madrid and the national team but things do not always go the way you want.”
Enrique has named a 24-man group, even though 26 players are allowed in every squad for the upcoming finals.
On only picking 24 players, Enrique said: “We don’t want to take any more because we want everyone to have a chance of playing, and we know that only around 18 or 19 will actually play.”
As well as Laporte, Manchester City stars Ferran Torres, Rodri and Eric Garcia are also included.
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has been selected but there’s no place for Blues teammate Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Manchester United’s David de Gea, Athletic Bilbao stopper Unai Simon and Brighton glovesman Robert Sanchez are Spain’s goalkeeping options.
Leeds defender Diego Llorente, Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara and Wolves winger Adama Traore are also in the squad.
Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Manchester United), Unai Simón (Athletic), Robert Sánchez (Brighton & Hove Albion)
Defenders: Jose Gaya (Valencia), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Pau Torres (Villarreal), Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City), Eric Garcia (Manchester City), Diego Llorente (Leeds United), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea)
Midfielders: Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico), Marcos Llorente (Atletico), Dani Olmo (Leipzig), Rodri (Manchester City), Fabian Ruiz (Napoli), Pablo Sarabia (Paris), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Adama Traore (Wolves)
Forwards: Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Pedri (Barcelona)
The star man: Thiago
The Liverpool man has suffered with injury in his first season in the Premier League, but has shone recently.
“I think the last six to eight weeks we have really seen what Thiago can really bring to this club, and we were never in doubt,” Andy Robertson said recently.
The 30-year-old has played 41 times for Spain and his experience will be vital to a squad that has a lot of young talent in such as Pedri, Eric Garcia and Ferran Torres.
The one to look out for: Pedri
The Barcelona winger is only 18, but he has long been considered the future at Camp Nou.
He joined the club in 2020 from Las Palmas and has become a first team regular, playing more than 50 times already.
Lionel Messi is said to be really impressed with his talent, while his coach at Las Palmas, was predicting big things for him.
“Look at this boy, because he’s one in a million and he doesn’t know it,” Mel said in 2019. “He will define a new era in Spanish football.”
The manager: Luis Enrique
A former Spain international, he is the man who has decided to leave out the captain.
“I told him by phone last night, it was difficult and tough, but it’s best for team,” he said of Ramos who has missed much of 2021 with injury.
Spain’s squad will not make them favourites, but it could be an entertaining team filled with plenty of youthful players.
Clearly, the boss is not afraid to make a decision.
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