Atletico Madrid president Jesus Gil has issued a humbling apology to three of his players whose performances he criticised following a recent league defeat.

‘I would like to apologise with all my heart to the three lads,’ Gil told Radio Marca.

‘I never wanted to damage any of them and would like to withdraw the remarks I made.

‘At times my blind love for the club has led me to damage it and I will talk to the team on Saturday and apologise personally to the players involved.’

Gil’s original remarks came after Sunday’s 4-3 defeat at Villarreal with the Atletico president criticising the efforts of Santi, Jorge Otero and Luis Carreras.

‘There are three guys out there wearing the red and white shirt and they don’t do anything,’ Gil told radio station Cadena Ser.

‘They’re not going to laugh at this shirt any longer. They are not going to make fun of me…. It is not fair if some players give it everything only to see others spoiling things.’

Gil’s comments provoked an angry response from the club’s sporting director Paulo Futre, who along with first-team coach Luis Aragones, warned the president to keep his nose out of team affairs.

‘He can come and criticise me as much as he wants, but not the players. None of us liked what he said last Sunday,’ stated a defiant Aragones.