Madrid: Three-time World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo has backtracked on critical comments of his Real Madrid teammates following their 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid.
Real Madrid midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after their defeat to Atletico Madrid. Pic/AFP
The derby defeat on Saturday realistically ended Real's title challenge as they now trail leaders Barcelona by nine points having also played a game more.
Ronaldo lambasted his teammates by suggesting Real would be top if everyone was as good as him. "If everyone was at my level, we would be top," he said.
However, Ronaldo issued a subsequent statement to claiming he was referring to his fitness levels having not missed a minute of La Liga action this season. "When I said this I was referring to my level of fitness, not play. I am not better than any of my teammates.
"I don't want to undervalue any of my teammates, but when the best aren't there it is difficult to win.
"I like to play with Pepe, Karim (Benzema), Bale, Marcelo. I don't want to say that Jese (Rodriguez), Lucas (Vazquez), (Mateo) Kovavic are not good players, they are very good, but to win a competition you need the best."