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Sergio Ramos warned not to be confident of first-team spot for Spain

Sergio Ramos warned not to be confident of first-team spot for Spain


Sergio Ramos must not expect to be guaranteed a starting spot for Spain, head coach Robert Moreno has warned.

The 33-year-old has had a difficult 2019 at club level, with Real Madrid enduring a run of just four wins from 12 LaLiga games stretching back to last season.

Consecutive draws with Real Valladolid and Villarreal have led to further question marks over Madrid's defence and the form of Ramos in particular.

Moreno has defended Ramos, who has 165 senior caps for his country, describing him as a player with "outstanding behaviour" who can help the next generation of centre-backs within the squad.

However, he says Ramos will be placed under greater demands than any other member of his squad as Spain prepare for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Romania and Faroe Islands.

"As it stands yes, Sergio is going to play. But I want him to think that if he's not right, he's not going to play," said Moreno.

"I'm delighted that the youngsters have Sergio beside them because he's going to help them a lot. We have a very good generation of centre-backs and I don't think we're going to have just one good partner for Sergio, but we're going to have replacements [too].

"He has to have competition. I can only say good things about him from my time with him. He has outstanding behaviour. He's an example to all, in training, out... Sergio is the one that I'm going to demand the most from."

Moreno was also asked about the progress of Ansu Fati, who became Barcelona's youngest LaLiga goalscorer against Osasuna last Saturday at the age of 16 years and 304 days.

"We cannot rush him," Moreno said. "He must be allowed to progress through every stage.

"He was only a youth player until recently and now he is playing at Camp Nou. We have to be very patient in every sense. I know [Barcelona coach] Ernesto [Valverde] will guide him well but if he has to play with the reserves or the youth sides, there is nothing wrong with that."

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