'Real Madrid asked me not to play in the World Cup final so I tore up the letter' – Di Maria

The Argentine says he ignored his club’s request after picking up an injury and claims he has never been on good terms with Florentino Perez

Angel Di Maria has taken a spectacular swipe at former club Real Madrid, claiming the European champions did not want him to feature for Argentina in this summer’s World Cup final.

The former Benfica winger completed a €75 million move to Manchester United in August after helping his national team to the final of the showpiece in Brazil, where they were beaten by Germany.

Di Maria inspired Madrid to the Champions League and Copa del Rey last term but found himself surplus to requirements after the signings of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez, and he has now revealed his frustrations with the club began in the summer, when they requested him not to risk agrgavating an injury sustained during the finals.

“I got a letter from Madrid that arrived at 11:00 on the day of the [World Cup final] asking me not to play,” he explained to America & Closs.

“We were playing at 16:00 and I was preparing myself to be in the best condition, knowing that I could have got injured. As soon as I go that letter, I ripped it up. I did not care, no matter what.”

Madrid president Florentino Perez and coach Carlo Ancelotti have both indicated that Di Maria requested to leave the club this summer, but the player himself has refuted the claims and says he has never had a professional relationship with Perez.

“I never said I wanted to leave Madrid. The club decided to buy other players. I always had a great relationship with my team-mates,” he said.

“I have no relationship with Florentino Perez. When I signed my contract I was not present.”

Cristiano Ronaldo has been vocal in his support of Di Maria in the wake of his Bernabeu exit and the 26-year-old believes the Portuguese star may also move on in the coming years after he expressed a wish to return to Old Trafford one day.

“Cristiano was always on my side,” he continued. “He fought for me to stay. I don’t know how long he will stay at Madrid.”

Di Maria is looking forward to the challenge at hand at Man United, however, saying he wants to restore the club to their former glories.

“I was having a good time in Spain, so the change will have its toll. I have to adapt to my new team-mates, but I hope it will be as quick as possible.

“I want to score goals and get United back to where they should be. I’m very happy to be in Manchester.”

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