Spain captain Sergio Ramos has appeared to confirm his intentions to keep playing for the national side for the foreseeable future, and says he wants to continue until at least the next World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
The 32-year-old has won 156 caps for his country, and with fellow veteran Andres Iniesta confirming his retirement from international football following Spain’s shock defeat to Russia in the World Cup, there were rumours that Ramos would possibly follow suit. Gerard Pique could also follow, but it’s yet to be confirmed by the player himself since their exit.
However, speaking to the press after the game, as reported by ESPN, Ramos seemed philosophical about the failure of La Roja in the tournament, and confirmed his desire to continue representing his country.
It hurts a lot but nobody should doubt that we’ll be back to try again and again. Some will go and others will come along but we’ll all defend this shirt with passion and respect.
In defeat I feel even more proud of being Spanish.
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) July 1, 2018
“I am not in favour of many changes,” he said. “This is not the end of a cycle, Pique and Iniesta are players who have been very important, but other people are coming up strongly from below.
“This team has a very good youth system, players with a lot of personality. I would like to keep going many more years. I am leaving this World Cup with a terrible pain. I feel obliged to reach Qatar with a white beard.”
Taking to social media, Ramos also broke his silence about the shock departure of his former club manager Zinedine Zidane from Real Madrid, and admitted it was a difficult end to a mixed campaign for the club.
Writing on his personal Instagram, Ramos said:
“Zidane’s goodbye was a bitter way to follow it up but everyone is free to make their own decisions. We’ll be forever thankful to our coach.”