Spain manager Luis Enrique has reacted to the Sergio Ramos two penalty miss against Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League on Saturday evening.
Spain need a late equaliser to avoid a second defeat in a roll in the tournament after the1-0 defeat against Ukraine. Spain was awarded penalties on two occasions in both halves against Switzerland but Ramos who is making a record appearance in European competition was inaccurate with his kicks.
Enrique said Ramos’s twin spot-kick misses would not affect his captain. “Sergio’s numbers when it comes to taking penalties are in the reach of few players. If we had got a third penalty or a fourth one he would have taken them as well,” he said. “He had scored his last 25, but football has moments like this.”
The number one spot-kick taker for Real Madrid and Spain, despite being a defender, Ramos has been imperious from the spot in recent years, with his last miss coming when he hit the crossbar in Madrid’s 3-2 defeat by Sevilla in May 2018.
He has confessed to relishing the high-stakes situation of a penalty, scoring a number of crucial spot-kicks in Real’s run to the Primera Liga title last season as well as netting from the spot in last month’s 3-1 win at Barcelona.
But he finally met his match in Swiss keeper Yann Sommer, who guessed the right way to parry Ramos’ first penalty early in the second half and then refused to be fooled by the Spaniard’s ‘Panenka’ routine which has worked so well for him in the past.
“It’s a real shame that Ramos missed the penalties because he’s usually so good,” said Spain forward Dani Olmo.
“But he’s very strong mentally and I’m sure that the next time he takes a penalty he’ll score.”
Spain will host Germany on Tuesday in their next fixture in the UEFA Nations League.