Robinho - Brazil more important
Robinho claims he was not dropped against Portsmouth but rather asked to be left out.
Last Updated: 04/09/09 1:02pm
Robinho claims he was not dropped against Portsmouth but rather asked to be left out ahead of Brazil's international with Argentina.
Mark Hughes' decision to leave Robinho on the substitutes' bench for last Sunday's 1-0 win at Fratton Park caused the odd raised eyebrow, with Craig Bellamy preferred down the left flank.
Robinho has enjoyed a decent start to the season but has been asked to occupy a deeper role, with Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez playing in front of him.
It has been suggested the 25-year-old Brazilian, often a peripheral figure away from home last season, could be used sparingly when City are not playing at Eastlands.
However, Robinho now claims it was his decision to be left out at Fratton Park so he could instead concentrate on getting fully fit for the upcoming international fixture.
On Saturday the two South American giants go head-to-head in a World Cup qualifier, with Argentina's campaign to date having left them struggling to book a place for South Africa 2010.
"I asked to not play because I had pains in the ankle, especially because Brazil against Argentina is more important," he is quoted as saying in the Daily Express.
"It is always a special match because of the rivalry of the two teams. No one ever wants to lose. Every player likes to play in these matches.
"Of course Carlos (Tevez) has expressed concern because Argentina are in a much more difficult situation than us."