Sergio Ramos has confirmed his retirement from international football after being told he would no longer be selected for the national team by coach Luis de la Fuente.
The defender made 180 appearances for the Spanish national team, winning two European Championships and one FIFA World Cup.
In a statement released on his social media pages, Ramos stated: “The time has come. 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 and 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 successes 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 Modric, 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 player 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!”