Sergio Ramos has appeared to criticise Spain teammates Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa for succumbing to pressure from their club Chelsea and pulling out of La Roja's upcoming international games.
Both Costa and Fabregas completed the 90 minutes in Chelsea's 2-1 Premier League win at Liverpool on Saturday, but groin and hamstring problems respectively mean neither are available to Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque for Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus, or the friendly against Germany the following Tuesday.
Del Bosque has gone on record to say he declined to pick Costa for these games to avoid "confrontation," an apparent reference to persistent complaints from Blues boss Jose Mourinho after the centre-forward missed four club games following Spain duty in the last international break.
Mourinho surprisingly announced after the match at Anfield that Fabregas had a hamstring injury. The midfielder then travelled to Madrid for tests on Tuesday, with Del Bosque subsequently allowing the ex-Barcelona player to return to his club despite the results showing the injury was not as serious as had previously been claimed.
Speaking to news agency EFE, Ramos said he was disappointed at the situation, arguing that players should show the same commitment no matter which team they are representing.
"It is difficult because this is not a club team, but the national team where you do not come here every day," the Real Madrid defender said. "Laying out rules is difficult. Often with injuries there can be a world of difference between what we have and what is said in public.
"Above all I would have like the players to show the same commitment to the national team as they do to their club. You must communicate this commitment and spirit to all the new players. Whether you club pays, or the national team."
Ramos, who missed Spain's most recent internationals due to a tear in a calf muscle, said he had played before for his country despite not always being 100 percent fit.
"I came the last time, I had a test and was not able to play due to a small tear in my calf muscle," he said. "But there are times I have played despite having some niggles. It depends on the DNA of the player."
Neither Costa nor Fabregas has spoken publicly on the issue, with the latter not making any comment to reporters when he visited Spain's national camp in Madrid for the tests.
Ramos, who had a troubled relationship with Mourinho during the Portuguese coach's three years in charge of Madrid, said if he were in a similar situation he would like to go on the record so that neither his international teammates nor Spain's fans would have any reason to question what was happening.
"This is a delicate subject, I have my opinion, which I will not give, about agreements between the national coach and the players," he said. "Del Bosque is the man in charge, who must reach agreement with the players. [But] this can create some doubt, not just among teammates, but also for the fans. It opens debates.
"I would not have allowed this to happen, I would have come out and talked so that the subject did not grow bigger, and so that the problem was really known. At least, to leave it clear, so that people do not speculate or invent things that are not real."