Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano insists Cristiano Ronaldo should not have played in Portugal's World Cup qualifier against Hungary at the weekend, as he was not in the right condition to return after injuring his ankle playing for his club.
Ronaldo was forced to limp out of his country's key tie after less than half-an-hour with a recurrence of an ankle problem that he first suffered in Madrid's Champions League victory over Marseille on September 30.
"What is clear is that the injury he has now is not a new injury," Valdano told AS. "It could have been caused by a blow to the affected area. He was most probably not in a condition to return. However, I understand the commitment shown to the national team by the player, as he wanted to help."
The player himself, however, has claimed that there was never any question of him missing out. "I felt very good, but I wasn't at 100%, I had a bit of discomfort,'' Ronaldo said. "But I wanted to push myself to help my country go to the World Cup. I'm upset because I was in a good period of form and so being injured again is something that affects me even more. I'm not the country's savour, but after the defeat against Sevilla, I wanted to help my Real Madrid team-mates win the next few games."
Meanwhile, Marseille defender Souleymane Diawara has expressed his regret over the tackle which caused the injury and says he hopes Ronaldo recovers as soon as possible.
"The truth is that everything has ended up being more serious than we thought. It's weird seeing my name out in the press for this reason, but I understand," he told AS. "I did have a dream to mark Kaka or Cristiano. My dream came true but because of the defeat and everything that happened with Cristiano it became something gray.
"Being without a player like Cristiano is something that weighs heavily on a team. He is the player of the moment in football. I regret the damage my tackle has done and I hope he will recover as soon as possible. Football will miss him."
Diawara said he has not spoken to the player directly but will try to shake Ronaldo's hand when the pair meet again in the return leg.
"I could not talk to him directly but I've tried. In the second leg at the Velodrome I am sure I will approach him to shake his hand and ask how everything goes. I really hope he will recover as quickly as possible."