Sergio Ramos announces retirement from international football
After making a record 180 appearances for Spain's senior team, the former La Roja captain announces his retirement from international stating the new head coach De la Fuente had left him no choice.
After making his international debut in 2005, Sergio Ramos made the most appearances for Spain in the nation's history being capped 190 times. The Paris Saint-Germain centre-back was vital in Spain's triumph in three major tournaments in a row, the European Championship trophy in 2008 and 2012, and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Although the new Spain manager Luis de la Fuente claimed this month that the door was not closed on Ramos' international return, the 37-year-old defender has decided to retire from international football.
Ramos wrote on Instagram:
"[It is] time for me to say goodbye to the Spain national team, to La Roja.
"This morning, I received a call from the current head coach who informed me that I am not and will not be part of his plans, regardless of how I perform or what I do in my career.
"With a heavy heart, it's the end of a road that I hoped would stretch out further and which would end with a better taste in my mouth, on a par with all the success we achieved with La Roja.
"I honestly believe that this journey deserved to end at my own choosing or because my performances were not at a level worthy of our national team, not due to a question of age or other reasons that, although I have not heard them directly, I have certainly felt.
"Because age in itself is not a virtue or a defect; it's just a number that is not necessarily related to performance or ability.
"I admire and envy 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 isn't always fair and football is never just football.
"This is something I have to accept, albeit with this sadness I share with you but also with my head held high, and thankful for all these years and for your support.
"I come away with unforgettable memories, all the titles we've fought for and celebrated together and the tremendous pride I feel as the most capped Spanish international of all time. This badge, this shirt and these fans, all of you, have made me happy.
"I'll continue to support my country with the passion of someone lucky enough to proudly represent it 180 times. My heartfelt thanks to all of you who believed in me!"
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