Jamie Vardy has joined Kasper Schmeichel in denying any involvement in Claudio Ranieri's sacking as Leicester City boss.
Ranieri left the club on Thursday only nine months after guiding the Foxes to a remarkable Premier League triumph.
Vardy was one of the many rough diamonds Ranieri polished, with the striker's form for Leicester earning him a place in the England team.
Writing on Instagram, Vardy said: "I must have written and deleted my words to this post a stupid amount of times! I owed (it to) Claudio to find the right and appropriate words!
"Claudio has and always will have my complete respect! What we achieved together and as a team was the impossible! He believed in me when many didn't and for that I owe him my eternal gratitude.
"There is speculation I was involved in his dismissal and this (is) completely untrue, unfounded and is extremely hurtful! The only thing we are guilty of as a team is underachieving which we all acknowledge both in the dressing room and publicly and will do our best to rectify.
"I wish Claudio the very very best in whatever the future holds for him. Thank you Claudio for everything."
Earlier, Schmeichel insisted reports of a meeting between the club's owners and several players that led to Ranieri's dismissal were untrue.
He told the BBC: "There's absolutely no truth in that whatsoever. We are players and we can only affect (things) on the pitch. What happens above our heads at boardroom level is completely out of our control.
"All these reports about meetings, I don't know where they've come from. What I can say is our owners are very hands on, they are in and around the club all the time.
"They come to practically every game, they come to the training ground and they speak to all the players regularly. We talk to them about all manner of things from the weather to the pitches to whatever.
"These guys are very successful businessmen and have taken this club from the bottom of the Championship to the top. They're not going to let themselves be influenced by any players."
Schmeichel added: "Claudio leaving is obviously very, very sad. We achieved the impossible together and I have nothing but the utmost respect for him for everything he achieved at this club. I have no problem with Claudio whatsoever.
"As everyone knows, he's a classy guy. He came in and said his piece to the players, thanked us for our efforts and for last season and said goodbye. It's a shame it's come to this.
"You could hear that it hurt him and it hurts the players that we haven't performed well enough to make this carry on. We're in the position we're in because we haven't been good enough, it's as simple as that."