In Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with the Netherlands, Luis Enrique hailed “special” Sergio Ramos after the Spain captain equaled Italy’s great Gianluigi Buffon’s European caps record.
At the Johan Cruijff Arena for his 176th international appearance, Ramos was brought on five minutes from time, some 15 years after making his senior debut.
As Europe’s most-capped foreign footballer, the Real Madrid center-back can overtake Buffon if he appears in Basel on Saturday against Switzerland.
He is also within eight appearances of the record of world caps currently held by former Egyptian midfielder Ahmed Hassan.
Ramos was congratulated by Spanish head coach Luis Enrique for matching Buffon’s count.
“After the game, he said, “Sergio is special. He is on a different level. “The record of appearance is only beyond the scope of those who are talented.”
Including debutant goalkeeper Unai Simon, plus returning quartet Koke, Alvaro Morata, Hector Bellerin, and Marco Asensio, Luis Enrique fielded an experimental XI.
For Spain’s 18th minute opener, Morata set up Sergio Canales – the ninth goal that the Juventus striker has been directly involved in nine club and country games this term.
Luis Enrique said, “Alvaro was really fine, but it’s the same as we’ve seen at Juve these months.” “We have caused them problems with his abuse.”