Levante defender David Navarro, who has a history of violent play, said he did not intend to hurt Cristiano Ronaldo after his leading elbow caught the Real Madrid forward in the face and opened a nasty gash above his left eye in Sunday's La Liga game.
Ronaldo managed to score after the incident but left the game -- a 2-1 Real Madrid win -- at halftime after suffering problems with his vision.
"It was an accident, at no time did I try to cause harm to Cristiano Ronaldo," said Navarro. "These are things that happen during a game and I regret having wounded him, but I repeat that it was something completely involuntary."
Navarro's previous incidents included being involved in a mass brawl after a Champions League game between his former club Valencia and Inter Milan in March 2007 in which he punched Inter midfielder Nicolas Burdisso in the face, breaking his nose; a horrific studs-up challenge on former Real Madrid midfielder Luis Figo; and an off-the-ball stamp on Barcelona forward Lionel Messi's ankle.