Madrid - Experienced defender Sergio Ramos withdrew from Spain's squad for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers with Slovakia and Luxembourg on Monday dealing a blow to coach Vicente del Bosque who admitted recently that a lack of depth of classy central defenders was a problem area for him.
Ramos, an integral member of two Euro titlewinning sides (2008/12) as well as the one that won the 2010 World Cup, has a calf injury which he suffered in the first-half of his side Real Madrid's 5-0 hammering of Athletic Bilbao in their La Liga clash on Sunday.
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The 28-year-old, capped 122 times and the youngest player to reach the 100 caps landmark in March 2013, has been replaced by Barcelona's Marc Bartra, who has been capped twice but the 23-year-old has only started three times for his club this term.
"Scans revealed a right calf muscle injury," read a statement from the Spanish national coaching staff.
"Marc Bartra will join the squad on Monday evening."
The Spanish, who are bidding to rebuild after their traumatic first round exit at the World Cup finals in Brazil, play Slovakia away on Thursday and then minnows Luxembourg also away on Sunday.