The feeling of reaching a milestone with the national team as a player is huge, but that was not the case for Sergio Ramos after missing two key penalties in the UEFA Nations League clash between Spain and Switzerland.
Although the skipper eventually led the team to a 1-1 draw, he won’t be forgetting the day in a hurry. Bad days in the office right?
🇮🇹 @gianluigibuffon (176 caps)— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) November 11, 2020
🇪🇸 @SergioRamos (176 caps)
🧢 Two footballing immortals now share the record for the most caps by a European player. Congratulations, Sergio! 👏 pic.twitter.com/I4fX0VA9oZ
Ramos has been so dependable for both club and country on penalties, having scored all 25 penalties he had taken since May 2018. But losing two penalties on the night he became the most capped male European player was hard to take.
Ramos’ 177th cap took him past Gianluigi Buffon’s record. It was a game to forget for the 34-year-old, who had his first penalty saved by Yann Sommer as he tried to place it in the corner.
The second was a stylish panenka which the captain attempted to chip. Unfortunately, it barely left the ground as Sommer held on to it.
Luis Enrique defends Sergio Ramos after missing penalties for Spain
Speaking after the draw, coach Luis Enrique said if there had been a penalty, he would have taken it.
“Sergio’s numbers for penalties are out of this world.
“If there had been a third penalty, he would have taken that one as well,” Enrique said.
Also speaking on his exploit in reading the ball well, Sommer noted that having met Ramos in the Champions League recently, he has been studying his spot kicks.
Real Madrid and his club, Borussia Monchengladbach recently played a 2-2 in their Champions League group game in Germany a few weeks ago.
“I’ve come up against Ramos in the Champions League recently, so that means I’ve been previously engaged in preparing for his penalties.
“I think he wanted to chip the second one, but it worked out well for me,” he told Swiss broadcaster SRF.
The goalie maintained his cool and saved both spot-kicks with Spain 1-0 down following Remo Freuler’s clever finish from Breel Embolo’s cross.
Spain needs to beat Germany
Spain couldn’t capitalize more on the numerical advantage after the hosts ended with 10 men. Nico Elvedi was shown a second yellow card for fouling Alvaro Morata for Spain’s second penalty. They eventually restored parity through Gerard Moreno’s 89th-minute finish from Sergio Reguilon’s cross.
Spain will be welcoming Germany in Seville on Tuesday. The La Roja must beat the visitors to reach next year’s Nations League finals. That is what is on Ramos’ mind now.
Un punto muy peleado. Reseteamos y a por la victoria en Sevilla.— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) November 14, 2020
No nos definen nuestros errores, sino cómo enfocamos las siguientes metas.#VamosEspaña 🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/BlJZvQG63l
If Switzerland had lost, they would have been relegated to League B had they lost.
Ramos has scored 127 goals for both club and country. He is also among the highest scoring defenders in football history.
This season, he has already scored three goals in club football in ten games. He has also scored 23 goals in 177 games for the La Roja.