Cristiano Ronaldo apologises to team mates on WhatsApp after controversial outburst
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has apologised to his team mates after he criticised them over the weekend after a defeat.
Ronaldo launched an astonishing criticism of his team-mates after Real Madrid lost 1-0 to local rivals Atletico, claiming: "If we were all at my level maybe we would be leaders."
Speaking to reporters in the mixed zone after the game, Ronaldo criticised the performance of his team-mates and lamented the absence of injured players Gareth Bale, Marcelo, Pepe and Karim Benzema, the Frenchman forced off at half-time with a hip problem.
"If we were all at my level, maybe we would be leaders," Ronaldo said, quoted in Marca.
"I don't want to disrespect anyone, but when the best players aren't available it's harder to win. I like to play with Karim, with Bale, with Marcelo.
"I'm not saying the others like Lucas [Vazquez], Jese and [Mateo] Kovacic are not good players - they are very good players - but it's not the same."
The forward also hit out at the assembled journalists for their perceived criticism of his form, declaring: "For all you guys it seems I am s***, but I don't listen to what the press say. The statistics and numbers don't lie."
El Mundo are reporting that Portuguese met with club captain Sergio Ramos to discuss how to limit the damage of his outburst, with the pair apparently deciding on a WhatsApp message to the whole squad, where Ronaldo explained that his words had been misinterpreted.