Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has dismissed Cristiano Ronaldo's "opportunist opinion" that Los Blancos are weaker this season following the summer departures of some important players like current Chelsea top scorer Alvaro Morata.
The La Liga and Champions League winners part ways with a number of first-team players during the summer transfer window, including the Chelsea striker himself, Danilo, James Rodriguez, Pepe, Mariano and Fabio Coentrao.
Zinedine Zidane was expected to use the money generated by their sales to make a new Galactico signing like France starlet Kylian Mbappe.
However, Real eventually only signed two young prospects in the form Theo Hernandez from Atletico Madrid and Dani Ceballos from Real Betis with Jesus Vallejo, Marcos Llorente and Borja Mayoral also returning to the Bernabeu following their respective loan spells at Eintracht Frankfurt, Alaves and Wolfsburg.
The decision has been under question amid Real's difficult start to the season, being already eight points behind Barcelona in La Liga after only 11 games.
Ronaldo added more fuel to the debate after admitting that Zidane's side are now weaker following Los Blancos' 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League.
"The players who have come in have great potential," Ronaldo said to the reported following the defeat at Wembley. "But Pepe, Morata and James Rodriguez made us stronger – now the team is younger. 'We are also without [Dani] Carvajal and [Gareth] Bale. 'It's not a worse squad, but it has less experience and that is very important – though it is not an excuse. I'm happy and don't want to set off alarms."
But asked by Cadena Ser whether he agrees with the Portugal star, Ramos said: "No, honestly not. Every one has his own opinion and not only Cris say that. I think it's an opportunist opinion."
"When we won two Super Cups [UEFA Super Cup against Manchester United and Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona], nobody missed anyone and we were the same players. I would place more of the emphasis on injuries. The team is stronger when we're all together. I don't miss anyone."
Yet, Ramos did admit that he would like Real to sign former Barcelona star Neymar amid suggestions that the Brazilian ace is already regretting his summer move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Neymar moved to the Ligue 1 millionaires in the summer in a €222m (£197m, $258m] world record transfer. However, recent reports in Spain claim that Real president Florentino Perez recently met the player's father to discuss a potential future move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Questioned whether he would advise Perez to sign the Brazilian ace, Ramos said: "I like to play with the best and Neymar is one of them. Maybe it was easier for him to go to PSG, instead of directly from Barcelona to Real Madrid. I hope.
"He is one of the best in the world. They are personal decisions, you never know what can happen because football goes around a lot. I would sign him without any doubt, he is a different player that makes a difference. I already have the door open for him if he wants to come in December."