Sergio Ramos retires from Spain duty with scathing statement against coach Luis de la Fuente

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Sergio Ramos has announced his retirement from international football after winning 180 caps for Spain.

A World Cup winner and twice European champion with his country, the 36-year-old defender released a statement explaining his decision on Thursday.

New coach Luis de la Fuente told the player he will no longer be selected, in spite of his form, Ramos said.

It follows former boss Luis Enrique leaving the Paris Saint-Germain man out of his squads for both the last Euros and World Cup, although he was picked in between the two tournaments.

“The time has come,” Ramos wrote in his statement. “Time for me to say goodbye to the Spain national team.

“This morning, I received a call from the 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 would end with a better taste in my mouth, on a par with all the success we achieved with La Roja.

“I honestly believed that this journey deserved to end at my own choosing or because of 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.

“Age in itself is not a virtue or a defect; it’s just a number not necessarily realted to performance or ability. I admire and envy players like [Luka] Modric, [Lionel] Messi and Pepe.

“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 but also with my head held high.”