Angel di Maria has spoken in-depth about his move away from Real Madrid for the first-time since joining Manchester United in a candid interview with an American radio station.
Di Maria held no punches and revealed how Madrid sent him a letter asking him to not play in the World Cup final as he was an injury risk.
He responded by ripping up the letter and although he wasn’t passed fit to play anyway, the fact Madrid even asked him to do so is indicative of how his relationship with the club soured.
“On the morning of the World Cup final, a letter arrived from Real Madrid telling me not to play,” he said.
“I tore the letter up as soon as I’d read it & told Sabella I wanted to play. It was his choice not to risk me.”
Madrid may well look as Di Maria as a club player first and foremost but to ask a player to avoid risking himself in the single biggest footballing game on the planet, in his neighbouring country of Brazil, is outrageous.
As well as that, Di Maria also further fuelled speculation linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a move away from Madrid after insisting Ronaldo always supported him and saying he was unsure how much longer he could remain in Madrid.
“Cristiano was always on my side,” Di Maria added.
“I don’t know how much longer he can put up with it at Madrid.”
Noise about Ronaldo’s future being in doubt has grown this season thanks to Jorge Mendes’ relationship with the club and Di Maria’s quotes won’t help that to stop, which could be good news for United fans. After all, Ronaldo does want to come back some day.
Here are some other key quotes from Di Maria’s interview as transcribed and translated by Messi Minutes.
On playing for Argentina: “What I love more than anything is to play with La Selección (Argentina). Whatever game, I want to be there”
On adapting to the Premier League: “I was used to La Liga games. Now I have to adapt. Hopefully we can get United back where they deserve to be.”
On leaving Real Madrid: “One has to go somewhere when you’re not wanted.”
“I have never said that I wanted to leave Madrid. I never wanted to.”
On relationship with Madrid president Florentino Perez: “I don’t have much of a relationship with Florentino. He wasn’t even there when I signed my contract.”
“I saw what Florentino said. To be able to earn like Cristiano, you need to have won the Ballon d’Or.”
On speaking English: “I don’t know how to speak English, but I have a teacher and I call Mata if I need help for now.”