Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Does Sergio Ramos Have A Shot At Reaching 200 Caps With Spain?

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Sergio Ramos did not play on Tuesday against Sweden, but already picked up a milestone during the current international break. By playing against Norway during the Euro 2020 Qualifiers, the Spain captain won his 168th cap for La Roja. With that in mind, he became Spain’s most capped player in history.

Ramos had already equalled Iker Casillas’ previous record of 167 back in September against the Faroe Islands. But Ramos is not planning on stopping there. He already said he wants to become the first player in football history to reach 200 caps with his country.

Which players sit ahead of Sergio Ramos in the all-time caps list?

The 33-year-old defender, who has represented Spain in two Euro Championship titles (2008 and 2012) and one World Cup title (2010), is on a good path to make history. He is already a Top 10 all-time player when it comes to international caps and only seven players sit ahead of him. These are Hossam Hassan (Egypt, 170), Bader Al-Mutawa (Kuwait, 173), Ahmed Mubarak (Oman, 174), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, 176), Claudio Suarez (Mexico, 177), Mohamed Al-Daeyea (Saudi Arabia, 178) and Ahmed Hassan (Egypt, 184).

Ramos is now only eight caps short of the European record held by Buffon, and is 16 adrift of Hassan’s world record of 184. He is the second-most capped defender in football history, tied with Ivan Hurtado (Ecuador) and only trailing Suarez, but both are retired. For what is worth, Ramos ranks third in caps among active players, and first among UEFA-only players. Mubarak and Al-Mutawa sit ahead of him by only six and five caps, respectively.

Ramos, however, did not want to talk too much about the record. He did, however, signaled he would like to keep playing for Spain “for many years”.

“All that is personal is a little secondary,” said Ramos after the game. “I would have happily traded this 168th cap for a victory. It was not the case. But this record is a great reward after so many years and it’s a great source of huge pride. I am emotional every time I put on this shirt. That will not change, and I hope to continue doing so for many years.”

So… what are Ramos’ chances of reaching 200 caps with Spain?

Let’s take a short look at Ramos’ prospects of reaching 200 caps with La Furia Roja. If we make a projection of him playing in Spain until the end of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, things could go like this.

Ramos already has 168 caps. With two games left in the European Championship Qualifiers, three more in the EUROS, six in the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League, 10 more in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and three more in the World Cup group stage – assuming Spain qualify – then Ramos would reach 192 caps. That is not counting friendlies, as Spain would probably have friendly matches before the World Cup as well.

The chances are there. But Ramos would have to remain injury free while playing at a top level for, at least three more years. The Real Madrid captain would be 36 years old by the time of the 2022 World Cup as well. That’s another thing to consider moving forward.

But the desire to remain competitive is there. And Ramos is the kind of player that would probably be part of the National Team until he desires not to. So don’t be surprised if Ramos ends up being the first player in football history to reach 200 caps. If anyone can do it, it’s him.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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