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Sergio Ramos retires from international football: “I envy players like Modric, Messi, Pepe”



Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

In an unexpected development, Real Madrid and Spanish football legend Sergio Ramos has officially announced his retirement from international football. The defender has been at the centre of some of La Roja’s most historic achievements, but the world will not get to see him don the special red colours again.

In an official statement released on his social media profile, Ramos clarified that his decision was not based on his personal decision to quit. While he still believed he had a lot to give at the top level, it was Spain national team manager Luis De La Fuente that cut off any chances of a return for the player.

“I received a call from the current coach who informed me that I’m not and will not be part of his plans, regardless of how I perform or what I do in my career.”

His statement also clearly echoed the player’s heartbreak and disappointment at the development as he stated how he deserved to choose how his story with the national team ended as opposed to a decision purely based on his age.

“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.”

Ramos went on to express his envy for players like Lionel Messi, Pepe and Luka Modric who continue to be trusted by their national teams despite their age, and also produce results on the field.

“I admire and envy players like Modrić, Messi and Pepe. They are the essence of tradition, values, meritocracy and justice in football.”

The Spanish Federation’s decision seems to be centred around the idea of building around a young core and phasing out the previous generation. Ramos is not the only veteran who will never don a red shirt again, with even Sergio Busquets announcing his retirement after the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Yet, one feels for the former Real Madrid man who did not even get the chance to represent his side in Qatar. Ramos will go down in history as one of football’s greatest-ever defenders and will see his name engraved in gold for the Spanish National Team.

In his illustrious career with La Roja, the centre-back amassed a whopping 180 caps with two Euro titles and one FIFA World Cup to his name. He leaves the stage as Spain’s most-capped player in history and as the highest-scoring defender in international history with 23 goals.

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Real Madrid News

Manchester City join race to sign €40 million-rated Real Madrid target



Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Manchester City have now joined the ever-growing list of admirers for Celta Vigo midfielder and Real Madrid target Gabri Veiga, reports Jack Gaughan of the Daily Mail.

The 20-year-old midfielder has emerged as one of the breakout stars of La Liga this season, having impressed with his goalscoring abilities from the centre of the park. Indeed, the youngster has notched up nine goals in La Liga and his exploits have made the giants of Europe sit up and take notice.

Real Madrid are said to be interested in Veiga’s services heading into the summer. The Merengues have Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Dani Ceballos on expiring contracts and it is unlikely that all three will be renewed, especially with Jude Bellingham being on the agenda.

In case of Modric and Kroos, even if they stay, it will likely be for only a season at the most. Hence, Los Blancos could require more than one central midfielder come summer, with Veiga emerging as an option.

The 20-year-old was also attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid. Now, Manchester City have also jumped on the bandwagon of clubs interested in Veiga’s services.

The Cityzens, who are battling Real Madrid for Bellingham as well, are set to lose Ilkay Gundogan in the summer when his contract expires. Meanwhile, Bernardo Silva’s future is also far from certain, thus necessitating the signing of another midfielder.

Veiga has a release clause worth €40 million in his contract with Celta Vigo, which should not be a problem for either Real Madrid or Manchester City.

Celta Vigo president Carlos Mourino recently admitted that the midfielder could leave the club in the summer, saying:

“We don’t want to sell Gabri Veiga, but they are going to buy him from us. And we can’t do anything there. We know some of his offers and it is impossible to reach them.

“There are several teams behind Gabri. Real Madrid? They haven’t asked us, we don’t know if they will have called the player. Of the top 10 in the Premier League, four have asked about him.”

It will certainly be interesting to see whether Real Madrid are prepared to go all out for Veiga’s signing or decide to entirely focus on their pursuit of Bellingham.

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