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Sergio Ramos announces reluctant retirement from Spain duty: ‘Football is not always fair’

Sergio Ramos has announced his reluctant retirement from international football after being told he is not part of new Spain coach Luis de la Fuente’s plans.

Ramos, 36, revealed that De la Fuente phoned him on Thursday and stated he would not be selected regardless of his form with his club side Paris Saint-Germain.

The centre-back made 180 appearances for his country, more than anyone else for the Spanish men’s national team, scoring 23 goals and winning the 2010 World Cup as well as back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

“I received a call from the current head coach who informed I am not and will not be part of his plans, regardless of how I perform or whatever I do in my career,” Ramos posted on social media.

“With a heavy heart, it is the end of a road which I hoped would end with a better taste or on a part with we achieve with La Roja.

“I honestly believe this journey deserved to end at my choosing or because my performances were not at a level worthy of the national team — not due to a question of age or other reasons.”

Ramos, who joined PSG from Real Madrid in 2021, was keen to make it quite clear that the decision to retire had been more or less imposed on him by De La Fuente, who replaced Luis Enrique after the World Cup in December.

“Age in itself is not a virtue or a defect,” Ramos continued. “It’s just a number and not necessarily related to ability.

“I admire players like Luka Modric, Lionel Messi and Pepe. They are the essence of tradition, values, meritocracy and justice in football. Unfortunately, it won’t be like that for me because football is not always fair.

“I accept this, albeit with sadness, but my head is held high. I come away with unforgettable memories and the titles we have fought for and celebrated together and the tremendous pride I feel at being the most capped Spanish international of all time.”

Ramos made his Spain debut in 2005 while still a teenager playing for Sevilla.

He played in seven major tournaments for his country, winning three, but was left out of the squad by Luis Enrique for Euro 2020, played in 2021, and the 2022 World Cup.

His last presence for La Roja came on March 31, 2021, when he played four minutes in a 3-1 victory over Kosovo.

Steve Carr

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