Real Madrid and Spain captain Sergio Ramos has been left out of Luis Enrique’s squad for the Euro 2020 finals.
The 35-year-old Real Madrid star has played only once since the end of March because of injury, and national boss Enrique admitted omitting him had been tough.
Enrique told a press conference: “It’s clear that’s because he hasn’t been able to play or train with the squad.
“It hasn’t been easy. I had the chance to tell him last night. It’s difficult and tough, he’s been very professional, but I see it clearly that it’s a complicated decision. But I always search for the benefit of the squad.”
There had been reports that Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte would switch allegiances from France to Spain in time for the Euros and now it has been confirmed with Enrique naming him in the squad.
He had been called up by Didier Deschamps in the past but never made it onto the pitch as a full France international after playing throughout the youth levels.
Speaking when the initial reports suggested Laporte could swap to Spain, former France international Jerome Rothen said: “When you sign up and feel French, you go with France. If you feel Spanish, you go with Spain. But don’t be opportunistic.”
While France and Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit weighed in on the debate, he said: “So you can choose the country you want? Do you want to? He had claimed his love for the French team and suddenly went to Spain.”
No Real Madrid players were named in Spain’s the Euro 2020 squad with nine Premier League stars picked, including Wolves winger Adama Traore and Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez.
David de Gea keeps his place in the squad despite his topsy-turvy season for Manchester United, while Cesar Azpilicueta has been in great form under Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea.
Spain Euro 2020 squad in full:
Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Robert Sanchez, Unai Simon
Defenders: Aymeric Laporte, Jose Gaya, Jordi Alba, Pau Torres, Eric Garcia, Diego Llorente, Cesar Azpilicueta
Midfielders: Marcos Llorente, Sergio Busquets, Rodri, Pedri, Thiago, Koke, Fabian
Forwards: Dani Olmo, Mikel Oyarzabal, Gerard Moreno, Alvaro Morata, Ferran Torres, Adama Traore, Pablo Sarabia