Paris, France | Xinhua | Paris Saint-Germain’s former Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos announced on Thursday that he is retiring from international football after a record 180 appearances for his country.
The 36-year-old, who will be 37 in March, published a letter in which he confirmed he would no longer be available for the Spanish national side – nearly two years after he made his last appearance on March 31, 2021, as a substitute against Kosovo.
Ramos commented that new Spain coach Luis de la Fuente had spoken to him to explain he was no longer in his plans.
“The time has come, the time to say goodbye to the National Team, our dear and exciting Red Shirt (Spain’s colors). This morning I received a call from the current coach (de la Fuente) who told me that he won’t be counting on me, regardless of the level I can show or how I continue my sports career,” wrote Ramos in his letter.
Former Spain coach Luis Enrique dropped Ramos for the European Championships in 2021 after the defender suffered injury, and didn’t pick him again during his spell in charge, which ended after Spain were knocked out of the 2022 World Cup finals.
There had been rumors that De la Fuente would again include Ramos, but the former Under-21 coach prefers to work with younger players rather than a footballer, who will be 38 when the next European Championships arrive.
“It is the end of a journey that I hoped it would be longer and that it would end with a better taste in the mouth,” commented Ramos.
“I humbly believe that this career deserved to end due to a personal decision or because my performance was not up to what our National Team deserves, but not for a matter of age or other reasons,” he continued, complaining that De la Fuente’s decision was not “based on ability”.
Ramos scored 23 goals in his long international career, which began as an 18-year-old in March 2005 in a friendly win against China and had Spain’s triumph in the 2010 World Cup as its high point.