Real Madrid midfielder Luis Figo has apologised for a challenge on Real Zaragoza defender Cesar Jimenez that has left the player out for between six and eight months.

Jimenez tore his cruciate ligament when Figo slid into him during Sunday’s league match, which Real Madrid won 3-1.

“I’m really sad about it,” Figo told the Real Madrid website on Tuesday.

“At no time did I want to hurt him. We were both going for the ball as hard as we could. I went in with my eyes closed and he got there first.

“I don’t feel good about it. I hope he can get back to full fitness as soon as possible.”

Cesar believed that Figo has nothing to apologise for.

“I don’t feel any resentment towards him,” he told Marca.

“He apologised to me and clearly felt very bad about it. I don’t think any players deliberately set out to injure their opponents.”