Real Madrid and Spain captain Sergio Ramos has matched Gianluigi Buffon’s record for the most international appearances made by a player from a European nation.
The 34-year-old skipper made his 176th appearance for Spain on Wednesday in their 1-all draw against Netherlands at Johan Cruijff Arena Stadium – equalling the impressive record set by the Italian veteran Buffon who played his last international game in 2018.
Ramos made his international debut for La Roja in March 2005 at the age of 19. He has found the back of the net on 23 occasions with seven assists for his national team.
Spain national football team coach Luis Enrique explained why Ramos was a late sub to earn his 176th cap, as he came in on the 85th minute for Iñigo Martínez.
“It was simply a nod of recognition to the player with the most caps for the Spanish national team because he played every game for his club and we gave him the opportunity to add another international cap,” said Enrique in a post-match interview.
The Spanish mentor added that it wasn’t about creating a good vibe because they have a good vibe in the national team and it doesn’t depend on Sergio playing. So, it was a matter of caring for the player and allowing him to add more games to his tally.”
The Spaniards will return to international action away from home against Switzerland on Saturday in the Nations League.
By Mauwane Raophala