Spain Head Coach, Luis Enrique, has jumped to the defence of record-breaker Sergio Ramos, who missed a pair of penalties in Spain’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland on Saturday.
On a night when Ramos passed Gianluigi Buffon to become the most-capped player in European football history, the Real Madrid captain saw two second-half penalties saved by Switzerland keeper Yann Sommer.
Remo Freuler opened the scoring for the Swiss in the 26th minute, before Gerard Moreno spared Ramos’ blushes with an 89th-minute equaliser in the UEFA Nations League match at St. Jakob-Park in Basel.
Ramos had scored a remarkable 25 straight penalties for club and country before missing two in the span of 23 minutes, and his head coach said that record means he is in no danger of losing his status as Spain’s top penalty-taker.
“Sergio Ramos’ record with penalties is up there with the very best,” Luis Enrique said after the game. “It would be very unfair to take him off because he’s missed one, two, three.
“If there were another penalty, he would’ve taken it…if he misses two, to take him off penalty duties would be a joke. There’s a list of penalty takers and Sergio Ramos is at the top.”
Gerard also backed up his coach’s words on a night when Ramos reached his 177th international appearance.
“Sergio is a born winner. Today he couldn’t score the two penalties but he’s played many games – many defeats, many victories. He has a lot of experience,” Gerard said.
“Today the penalties didn’t go in but I don’t know how many he’s made before that. It’s not something we should worry about. I’m sure if there’s another penalty he’s going to take it and he’s going to score.
“We are all calm. Sergio is also calm. I haven’t been able to talk with him yet but I’m very calm that the next penalty Sergio takes he’s going to score.”
With the draw on Saturday, Spain fell to second place in Group 4 of League A, one point behind Germany. La Roja will take on Germany tomorrow at the Estadio La Cartuja in Seville.