Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has sought to address a number of supposed issues at the Santiago Bernabeu, with the World Cup winner acknowledging that mistakes have made but the squad remains united.
The 2018-19 campaign has been a testing one for all concerned in the Spanish capital, with a side so accustomed to challenging for major honours set to finish without La Liga, Copa del Rey or Champions League prizes.
On-field struggles have led to one managerial change already being made, with Julen Lopetegui quickly disposed of, while questions are now being asked of Santiago Solari and many of those in his squad.
Ramos, despite being skipper and a long-serving stalwart, has not escaped the criticism, with the 32-year-old defender having seen his decision to pick up a yellow card and subsequent ban during a European clash with Ajax cost the Blancos dear as they crashed out to Dutch opposition.
It has also been suggested that a prominent figure at the Bernabeu has clashed with team-mates and president Florentino Perez at times, but talk of any divides within the camp has been shut down.
In a series of posts on social media, Ramos has said of goings on in Madrid: “As footballers we like to do our talking on the pitch but this season is not turning out that way. Recent events have been disastrous and I’m not hiding. We are not hiding. We the players are primarily responsible and I, as captain, more than anyone.
“That's why I thought that the most honest way to answer the questions that are circulating around us would be to tackle them directly.
“Was the yellow card in Amsterdam an error? Absolutely it was an error and I take the blame 200%.
“Why did you record the documentary? There are certain commitments made and it never remotely went through my head that the game could have turned out as it did. The recording itself was scaled down as the game went on.
“Did you argue with the president in the dressing room? Dressing room issues are discussed and resolved in the dressing room. There's no problem whatsoever and everybody has the same interest: @realmadrid.
“Did you address your team-mates and criticise them? We always talk and motivate each other in the dressing room and always in a constructive way.
“Did you have a confrontation with Marcelo? We have exchanges in every training session. It's part of working with pressure. But it’s just an anecdote like so many others that happen from day to day. @MarceloM12 is like a brother to me.
“Why did you travel to Valladolid? Because I wanted to be close and support my team-mates. What's happening with the coach? It’s a decision that’s not ours to make and in which we never interfere. We have enormous respect for the position and we always support the Real Madrid coach
“These reflections are, without doubt, the result of a deeply disappointing season but if success didn’t stop us, we're not going to let defeat stop us. It's our obligation to carry on, to work and to evolve.
“And to remember that some of us are lucky enough to play for @realmadrid, some of us are lucky enough to form part of its history, but Real Madrid was, is and will always be Real Madrid. No one name makes the legend of Real Madrid, but we have all written that legend together.
“Together we have to work for the future and restore our hope. Madridista Commitment. #HalaMadrid”
Madrid were able to see off Real Valladolid 4-1 in their most recent outing despite missing a number of senior stars, but even that result has left them third in the Liga standings and 12 points behind arch-rivals and current table-toppers Barcelona.