Spain defender Sergio Ramos retires from international football with a ‘heavy heart’
Spain’s 2010 World Cup-winner Sergio Ramos says he is retiring from international football with a “heavy heart” after being told he will not be picked by new boss Luis de la Fuente.
The 36-year-old Paris St-Germain defender is Spain’s most capped player of all time with 180 appearances.
He has not played for Spain since March 2021 and was left out of former coach Luis Enrique’s World Cup squad.
“The time has come,” Ramos posted on social media on Thursday.
“The time to say goodbye to our beloved and exciting national team.
“It’s the end of a road that I hoped would stretch out further and would end with a better taste in my mouth, on a par with all the success we achieved with La Roja.”
Ramos said he came to the decision after having a telephone call with De la Fuente, who took over from Enrique after Spain were knocked out of the World Cup by Morocco in the last 16.
“This morning I received the call from the current coach who told me that he doesn’t and will not count on me, regardless of the level I can show or how I continue my sporting career,” Ramos said.
A 2010 World Cup winner and back-to-back European champion with Spain, Ramos made his international debut aged 18 in 2005.
However, he has not played for his nation since coming on as a late substitute in a 3-1 win over Kosovo in a World Cup qualifier two years ago.
“I think that my path deserved to end because of my personal decision or if my performance was not up to the level that our national team deserve, but not because of age or other reasons,” he said.
“Being young or less young is not a virtue or a defect, it is only a temporary trait that is not necessarily related to performance or ability.
“I look with admiration and envy at [Luka] Modric, [Lionel] Messi, Pepe… the essence, tradition, values, meritocracy and justice in football.
“Unfortunately, it will not happen to me because football is not always fair and football is never only about football.”