Sergio Ramos has praised the “fusion of talent” representing Spain at Euro 2020, despite his shock omission from the squad.
The Real Madrid legend ended his 16-year trophy-laden stay at the Bernabéu this summer, with some of Europe’s biggest clubs reportedly interested in acquiring his services.
At 35-year-old, his exclusion from Luis Enrique’s Spain squad shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise, but the fact that some of the continent’s major players remain interested in four-time Champions League winner suggests that he still has a lot to offer on the biggest stage.
Still, the former Sevilla star appears to hold no grudge, instead choosing to praise his fellow countrymen who were selected.
“I think that the Spanish national team is actually a great side,” Ramos claimed. “There’s a real mix of young players who are not really promising anymore but now very much real, and veterans – older players who provide the necessary experience. There’s a fusion of talent there”
Spain lifted back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012 either side of being crowned world champions in 2010, but this current crop are some way short of those standards after drawing their opening two games in this summer’s tournament.
A goalless stalemate against Sweden was followed up with a 1-1 draw with Poland, as Gerard Moreno missed his penalty in a game that saw Robert Lewandowski open his Euro 2020 account to peg Spain back.
Their final Group E encounter comes against Slovakia on Wednesday evening, with Ramos aware that his compatriots need to register their first win of the tournament if they want to avoid a group stage elimination.
“In terms of the games so far, the result against Poland has now created a certain obligation to win the next one. We’re very much in need of a win in the last game.”
Stopping short of predicting which nation will reach the final, the two-time European Championship winner has been impressed by some of the so-called big boys.
“The Euros has barely started really so it’s hard for me to put my money on any particular team – it’s a hard call to make.
“However, I am seeing really powerful teams in France, Germany, Belgium and Italy.”
Ramos was speaking at the Gamers Without Borders charity event, in which he referenced former Barcelona star Ronaldinho as “magical”.
With 180 appearances for Spain, Ramos has experienced everything on both the domestic and international stage, but insists that ‘Ronnie’ was in a league of his own.
“Because of Ronaldinho’s magical nature as a footballer, he made me suffer a lot in his time on the pitch.
“We had both good and bad results during El Clásico, but the bad results were due to him being on the top of his game.
“Ronaldinho and myself have had our duels on the pitch, both with Barcelona and Milan, and it’s always a beautiful moment to share these types of experience with former colleagues and rivals.”
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