Jamie O'Hara insists Kevin-Prince Boateng did not set out to wreck Michael Ballack's World Cup dreams.
A crunching tackle late in the first half of Saturday's FA Cup final between Portsmouth and Chelsea saw Ballack forced from the field.
It has since been confirmed that the German midfielder will take no part in this summer's World Cup after damaging his ankle.
Conspiracy theorists have suggested that Pompey forward Boateng, who is set to face Germany in South Africa after being called upon by Ghana, intentionally set to injure Ballack.
O'Hara has strenuously denied such claims, though, with the midfield ace, who has also played alongside Boateng during his time at Tottenham, adamant that there was no malice in the contentious challenge.
"It was a clumsy tackle and no-one likes to see a player miss out on a World Cup but I know Kev, he is one of my best friends, and he is not that type of person," the 23-year-old, who spent the season on loan at Fratton Park, told Sky Sports News.
"He would never go in to hurt someone and he was gutted after the game because he was looking forward to playing against Ballack at the World Cup. He said to me that he is a great player.
"He obviously missed a penalty and he was gutted, he was sobbing and I really felt for him. The tackle upset him as well, but hopefully he can pick himself up for the World Cup.
"He is a great footballer and he has had a great season and I have never seen him go in for a tackle like that so I think it was just a clumsy one from him. I know for sure he didn't mean it."
O'Hara added: "He said to me that he wanted to play against Ballack. Kevin is that type of person, he is confident, and I know for sure he wanted to play against Germany in the World Cup and play against their best players, and Ballack is one of their best players.
"It is a shame to lose Ballack for the World Cup, because you want to see those players on the big stage.
"He said he was going to get some stick in Germany but I just told him to try and ignore it. He is playing for Ghana now, which is a fantastic achievement, so he needs to put all that aside and concentrate on the World Cup."