Spain star Ramos vows to play Qatar 2022 with “white beard”

Spain captain Sergio Ramos said the pain of exiting the World Cup to Russia will motivate him to stay with the national team up until the 2022 tournament in Qatar – even if at 36 by that stage he is sporting a white beard.

Andres Iniesta, 34, and Gerard Pique, 31 – who won the World Cup alongside Ramos in 2010 — have already confirmed that they are leaving the national setup following a third straight disappointment at an international tournament, with other members of Spain’s golden generation including David Silva, 32, and Pepe Reina, 35, also expected to bow out now.

However, 32-year-old Ramos said he plans to keep adding to his tally of 156 senior international caps, and told reporters in the Luzhniki stadium mixed zone that he was positive about the younger players coming through the ranks.

“I am not in favour of many changes,” Ramos said. “This is not the end of a cycle, Pique and Iniesta are players who have been very important, but other people are coming up strongly from below. This team has a very good youth system, players with a lot of personality. I would like to keep going many more years. I am leaving this World Cup with a terrible pain. I feel obliged to reach Qatar with a white beard.”

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