Sergio Ramos has been left out of Spain boss Luis Enrique’s Euro 2020 squad. The Real Madrid centre-back has been struggling with injury and has only played one game since the end of March. Meanwhile, his absence means Enrique’s squad has no players from Real Madrid for this summer’s delayed tournament.
The talismanic central defender is the most capped player in the history of the Spanish national team with 180 appearances and his absence is noteworthy. The Head Coach, Luis Enrique however, explained that his exclusion was due to injury.
“Yesterday I had the opportunity to communicate it to him. It was difficult and hard. It gives me a bad taste because he is someone who has always been at the highest level, but I clearly believe that it is a decision that seeks the best for the group. I recommended that he be selfish and recover 100 percent to continue playing for his club and in the future in the national team.
“Anything related to Sergio Ramos would generate controversy. I know what it means to train at the highest level. I hope and wish it does not affect the national team, which is prepared to compete”.
Meanwhile, Ramos played for Spain in World Cup qualifiers in March when he was substituted during a draw with Greece. He also came on late in their win over Kosovo. Since then, his only appearance for Real Madrid came in a Champions League semi-final second-leg defeat to Chelsea on May 5, 2021. That outing was only his fifth for the Bernabeu club this year.
However, Fifa has recently approved Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte’s decision to switch his nationality from France to Spain. As such the defender has also made the 24-man squad. In all Enrique has picked 10 players from the English premier League which ended just yesterday. Notable among them are Brighton keeper Robert Sanchez, Leeds United defender Diego Llorente and Wolves forward Adama Traore.
The full squad includes 3 Goalkeepers: Unai Simon, David de Gea, and Robert Sanchez. The Defenders are Jose Gaya, Jordi Alba, Pau Torres, Aymeric Laporte, Eric Garcia, Diego Llorente, and Cesar Azpilicueta. Spain also boast of a strong midfield in the upcoming tournament. The Midfielders include Sergio Busquets, Rodri, Pedri, Thiago Alcantara, Koke, Fabian Ruiz, and Marcos Llorente. Also, the Forwards are Dani Olmo, Mikel Oyarzabal, Alvaro Morata, Gerard Moreno, Ferran Torres, Adama Traore, and Pablo Sarabia.
Group E Favorites
Spain are in group E alongside Sweden, Poland, and Slovakia. Despite their shaky start to their World Cup qualifiers, Spain is the big favourite to win this group. Spain has some advantages that makes them the favourite of the group. For instance, Spain won their Nations League group and can also boost of having the group’s strongest squad.
La Roja also has home advantage in all group matches. La Cartuja in Seville will be at 30 percent capacity, boasting 18,000 spectators, mostly Spaniards. That should provide ample support to boost the players. While finishing in first isn’t a guarantee, it’s certainly the most likely outcome for Spain.
Slovakia’s Chances Slim
Meanwhile, Slovakia will likely finish in last place, just as they did in their Nations League B group. Also, their start to World Cup qualifying has been dreadful despite a 2-1 win against Russia. They drew with Malta after being 2-0 down and failed to break down Cyprus. Slovakia does have a couple of good players, but that won’t be enough to take them past the group stage of the Euros.
Sweden and Poland to battle for second spot
Poland obtained four more points than Sweden in the Nations League, but that could be attributed to the White and Reds group being a bit easier. Robert Lewandowski is arguably the best striker in the world, but that doesn’t assure success in a team sport. Moreover, Poland flopped at the 2018 World Cup despite people having reasonably high hopes for the team. However, the opposite was true for Sweden, who reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 1994.
Nevertheless, none of these factors might matter at the Euros, but it is fair to say that both Sweden and Poland may finish as runner-ups. Besides, their starts to World Cup qualifying are too even for any conclusions to be reached.
UEFA EURO 2020 will take place between 11 June and 11 July 2021, with 11 host cities staging the 51 fixture. UEFA postponed the EURO 2020 in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.