The football world was stunned when Spain were knocked out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup by host nation Russia in the round of 16, and Sergio Ramos has now given his thoughts on what played a part in La Furia Roja's shock exit.
In the build-up to the tournament, the 2010 world champions' campaign was rocked when former coach Julen Lopetegui was sacked two days before Spain's opening game against Portugal after agreeing to become Real Madrid's new manager.
The Los Blancos defender has since penned an open letter to his fellow countrymen, and seemingly pinned the blame for Spain's poor showing in the tournament on his federation's decision to make a late managerial change.
"It was an immense, exciting challenge that we faced with all the energy of the world," Ramos said in a letter published in Marca.
"Moreover, when we had not yet started, something happened that we did not expect. I will not value acts or decisions, but instability is never a good companion.
"Even so, we maintained the cohesion, the strength of the group, the energy of a group of colleagues and friends, but the truth is that we have gone from more to less. Although many think we could have done more, we did not know how to do more.
"We could do better, we should have done better, but not only I'm not ashamed, but I'm also proud to be the captain of this huge selection."
Spain's only win in the group stage at Russia 2018 was a 1-0 victory over Iran – they drew with Morocco and Portugal in their other two group matches.
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