Real Madrid centre-back and captain Sergio Ramos can take the summer off. The Spanish colossus is sidelined with injury, so his nation must compete at Euro 2020 without him.
That is a major blow for Spain’s Euro 2020 odds and for neutral fans who will miss out on seeing one of the most inspirational players and leaders from the last two decades.
Ramos played in the Champions League semifinal defeat Chelsea on 5th May, but then he had to sit out the rest of the La Liga campaign with a hamstring injury, eventually watching Atletico Madrid take the domestic prize.
Spain are in a cluster of teams with a realistic chance of winning Euro 2020, but they would much rather be there with their main man.
Real Madrid’s greatest leader
Back in 2005, the 27-M Euros Real Madrid paid to Sevilla for Ramos was a record for a Spanish defender, but what a bargain that turned out to be!
Since then he has led Los Blancos through a phenomenal period of success, with a combination of charismatic leadership and inspirational performances on the pitch.
While Madrid have had some incredible talents up front, notably Cristiano Ronaldo and latterly Karim Benzema, Ramos has been a rock-solid defender and an attacking threat as well.
He has won 22 major trophies is his 16 seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu — including four UEFA Champions League titles — while becoming one La Liga’s top goal-scoring defenders.
In each of the four successful European campaigns, Ramos was named in the competitions’ “Squad of the Season” every time and he has been named in the UEFA Team of the Year nine times – a record for a defender and the third-most of any player in history.
Serial record breaker
Ramos’ record breaking feats have continued into the 2020/21 season as he contributed his fair share of the highlights before he succumbing to injury.
He won and scored a penalty in Los Blancos’ 3-1 victory over Barcelona at the Camp Nou in October and that was his 25th consecutive successful penalty for club and country.
It was also his fifth El Clasico goal, equalling a record set for defenders in the fixture set by current Barca head coach Ronald Koeman. It was his 31st consecutive La Liga Clasico, equalling the records of Raul and Paco Gento.
The odds never really backed Real Madrid in the run-in as they faltered. But here at SBOTOP, we fancied Los Blancos to beat Chelsea to make the Champions League final.
But Ramos, who is playing through the pain, couldn’t see his team through. This was his 16th Champions League campaign, equalling the record of Iker Casillas.
With 180 appearances, Ramos is the most capped Spain international and he also holds the record for the most Spain victories, with 131 matches won for his nation.
He has represented Spain at four World Cups and three European Championships so head coach Luis Enrique is taking his team into battle without their biggest character, the most constant presence, the defensive giant, and the country’s eighth highest scorer of all time.
No Real players at Euro 2020
Euro fans will have to watch the tournament without Ramos this year after the confirmation of his absence arrived this week.
He was desperate to lead his country into the international football extravaganza, as he was to help Madrid to win another La Liga title, but it wasn’t to be.
Back in January, the Euro 2020 news reported that he took four pain-killing injections to play against Athletic Bilbao in the Supercopa semifinal before opting for mid-season surgery for the first time in his career.
He made a recovery earlier than expected, but his appearance against Chelsea was only his fifth for Los Blancos in 2021 and more football during the close season has proved to be a step too far.
His absence amazingly means that there are no players from Real Madrid in Enrique’s squad for Euro 2020.
In a post on social media the Los Blancos legend said how much it hurts.
“I have fought hard and worked every day, in body and soul to be able to reach 100 per cent for Real Madrid and the national team but things don’t always work out the way we’d like,” said Sergio Ramos.
He’s determined to be back again next year and, at 35, he still has a season or two left in a spectacular and record-breaking career.
Ramos will always be a Los Blancos and Spain hero.
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