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Enrique explains Ramos snub from Spain’s victory

Sergio Ramos, Spain
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The Spain captain was left as an unused substitute during the national team’s hard-fought victory over Georgia on Sunday.

Spain manager Luis Enrique insisted Sergio Ramos’ absence for Spain on Sunday was purely a “technical decision” and nothing else.

Ramos has had a tough start to 2021. The 34-year-old has only recently recovered from an ankle injury and also had knee surgery earlier in the year. The first-half cameo in last week’s 1-1 draw with Greece sparked more fears over the skipper’s fitness, although Enrique announced his half-time withdrawal was pre-planned afterward.

But the skipper didn’t play at all in Sunday’s 2-1 World Cup qualifier victory against Georgia nor did he warm-up with his teammates either.

“He is fine,” Enrique told TVE. “I know that whatever I decide with Ramos, it is going to generate controversy and debate. I am prepared for any situation.”

Speaking in a post-match conference later, Enrique added on Ramos: “Sergio is in perfect condition and [his absence] was a technical decision.

“I know that whatever I do is going to generate controversy, [whether Ramos played] five [minutes], ninety minutes or none.

“I’m used to it now, nothing surprises me. I’m ready for the debate.”

After Khvicha Kvaratskhelia handed Georgia a shock first-half lead in Tbilisi, Ferran Torres equalized after the break. Dani Olmo then scored a last-gasp goal to seal a 2-1 win, and the first victory for Spain in their World Cup qualifying campaign.

The one-time world champions, who sit second in Group B on four points, will next face Kosovo on Wednesday in Seville.