It is the first time in the history of World Cups and European Championships that no Real stars have made the Spanish tournament squad, with the likes of Dani Carvajal, Nacho Fernandez, Isco, Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez and Alvaro Odriozola also missing out.
But Ramos’ omission was the biggest shock of all, with the 35-year-old serving as Spain captain and having been a mainstay of the side for around 16 years, earning 180 senior caps in total – good for joint-third place on the list of the players with the most appearances in men’s international football and only four shy of the all-time record.
The omission comes after a torrid, injury-plagued campaign for Ramos, who was restricted to just 15 LaLiga appearances for desposed champions Real as they missed out to rivals Atletico Madrid in the title race and also tested positive for Covid-19 in April.
Responding to his Spain snub on Twitter, a measured Ramos – whose contract in Madrid expires this summer with his club future remaining uncertain – said: “After a tough few months and a strange season unlike anything I have experienced in my career comes the Euros.
“I have fought and worked every day, in body and soul, to be able to reach 100% for Real Madrid and the national team but things don’t always work out the way we’d like.
“It pains me not to have been able to help my team more and not to play for Spain but, in this case, the best thing to do is rest, fully recover and come back next year like we’ve always done. It hurts not to represent your country, but I have to be honest and sincere.
“I wish all my teammates the very best of luck and I hope we have a great Euros. I’ll be another fan cheering on from home. A big shout to everyone and #VivaEspaña and #HalaMadrid always!”
Explaining his decision to leave Ramos at home this summer, former Barcelona boss Enrique blamed the experienced centre-back’s recent persistent injury woes.
“I’ve not included Ramos because he’s not been able to play much this season, especially since January he’s not been fit enough, and at times not even training with the group at his club,” he said.
“It wasn’t easy, but I called him last night (Sunday) and we had a difficult and tough conversation. I feel bad as he’s a player who has always been at the top level and has a future with the national team.
“It’s a decision that I’ve taken for the good of the national team and the group as a whole.”