Mbappe, Neymar and Varane lead tributes for 'the best' Ramos after Spain retirement

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Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Raphael Varane were among those to pay tribute to Sergio Ramos following his retirement from international football.

The veteran defender, a World Cup winner and Spain's most-capped men's player, called time on his La Roja career on Thursday.

Ramos' decision came after new head coach Luis de la Fuente informed him he would not be part of his plans, after his absence at both Euro 2020 and Qatar 2022.

The news sparked an outpouring of support from team-mates past and present, with several taking to social media to congratulate him on a storied international career.

PSG forward Mbappe and Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos both called him: "The best."

Manchester United defender Varane, who played with Ramos at the Santiago Bernabeu, referred to him as a "legend", while current Los Blancos forward Vinicius Junior posted a crown emoji.

Neymar, another PSG team-mate, offered a trio of applause icons while Achraf Hakimi, whose Morocco side ended Spain's run at Qatar 2022, said: "Respect to you."

Ramos, who also won a pair of European Championships in 2008 and 2012 either side of his World Cup triumph at South Africa 2010, won 180 caps for Spain.

He made his international debut in 2005, in a friendly victory over China, and would go on to score 23 goals, ranking him ninth on the country's all-time scorer list.

After last featuring as a substitute against Kosovo in 2021, Ramos was subsequently overlooked by former head coach Luis Enrique for Euro 2020 and Qatar 2022.