Sergio Ramos has expressed his surprise at seeing veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas left out of the first squad announced by JulenLopetegui.

Casillas has been one of the greatest players not just for Spain but in international football. Since making his debut for the national team in 2000, the former Real Madrid great has gone on to make 167 appearances over a career spanning more than 16 years. However, being left out of the squad by a new manager could mark the end of his reign in the national team. Manchester United’s David de Gea, West Ham’s Adrian San Miguel, and Napoli’s Pepe Reina are the three goalkeepers included in the squad.

One of the reasons forLopetegui leaving out Casillas may be concerns over his age. At 35, the veteran goalkeeper is not getting any younger and could theoretically play for the next couple of years at the top level. His form has not been great for the last couple of years and this led to the exit from Madrid. He is now playing with the Portuguese outfit FC Porto who do not experience much competition domestically.Lopetegui’s arrival is seen as the start of a new era as Spain have undergone a managerial change after eight years.

After experiencing huge success under Aragones and Vicente del Bosque, the national team is in need of a restructure to bring back the glory days. “Everyone is surprised when such an emblematic player is not included. I speak a lot to Iker. He is our first captain and it’s surprising not to see him being called up, but we have to respect the coach’s decision. I’ve heard good things about Lopetegui and he seems enthusiastic to begin this new chapter with this group. The group has not changed that much. A new era begins and there is a lot of enthusiasm to do things well,” said Ramos.