Spain captain Sergio Ramos has equalled Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon’s record for the most international appearances made by a player for a European nation.
Ramos made his 176th appearance for La Roja in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with the Netherlands in a friendly at Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam – matching the mark set by Buffon made with his final Italy appearance in March 2018.
The Spaniards couldn’t mark the 34-year-old’s milestone with a win, however, despite Sergio Canales’ maiden international goal putting them ahead in the 19th minute.
Manchester United’s Donny van de Beek drilled home an equaliser in the second half as the two teams played out a draw ahead of their UEFA Nations League fixtures later in the international break
During his teenage years at Sevilla, Ramos made his debut for Spain’s national team during a 3-0 friendly win against China in March 2005 – with his appearance at 18 years, 361 days making him the national team’s youngest player in 55 years at the time.
After joining Real Madrid in the summer of 2015, Ramos scored his first two goals for Spain shortly after in a 4-0 thrashing of San Marino in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers.
Ramos also established himself as an indispensable part of the Spanish team that won the 2010 World Cup and European Championships in 2008 and 2012.
He captained his nation for the first time in a friendly against South Korea in June 2010 and eventually took over the role permanently in 2018 for the World Cup once legendary goalkeeper Iker Casilias was phased out of the squad.
Ramos started his career as an attacking right-back, but eventually moved into central defence when his defensive qualities became apparent.
Despite playing as a centre-back, Ramos is Spain’s eighth-highest all-time goalscorer with 23 goals, as he often takes penalties and threatens from set pieces.
He also holds the record for the most international victories for La Roja with 129 wins.
Spain are currently positioned top of Nations League A Group 4 with seven points – one ahead of Germany and Ukraine.
Their next fixtures in the competition will come against Switzerland (Saturday) and Germany (Wednesday).