Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for the European Championship has a number of notable absences, but what is most striking about his selection is that he hasn’t included a single Real Madrid player.
It’s the first time it has happened in a Spain squad for a major international competition, with Sergio Ramos, Nacho Fernandez and Marco Asensio all missing out as Luis Enrique named just 24 players, despite being able to name 26.
Luis Molowny, the only Real Madrid player in 1950
Spain have never gone to a major tournament without a Real Madrid player before, and it has only been close to happening once. Back in 1950, Luis Molowny was the only Los Blancos player chosen.
Real Madrid have historically been one of the clubs to have had more Spain players than anybody. At the 2018 World Cup, there were five included, and five again in 2010 – only bettered by the eight taken to Euro ’88.
Luis Enrique’s explanation
“Any decision about Sergio Ramos has always been controversial,” Luis Enrique said in his press conference. “I know where I am and I accept that this is normal. I hope it doesn’t affect the team.”
While Ramos‘ exclusion is understandable given his lack of minutes and fitness in 2021, the omission of Nacho is harder to comprehend for Real Madrid supporters, with him having had an excellent season.
“I don’t question his ability,” Luis Enrique said. “But I want to bring 24 players and there are three or four who could be on the list and would deserve to be.
“If [Dani] Carvajal and Ramos had been fit then they would have come. They haven’t made it because of that.”