Di Maria reveals SWC secret...

2014-09-06 17:23
Angel di Maria (AFP)

Buenos Aires - Angel di Maria has claimed his former club Real Madrid put pressure on Argentina not to play him in the Soccer World Cup final in another bitter chapter in his departure from the Spanish giants.

Di Maria joined Manchester United from Real last month for a British record fee of £59.7m with the Spanish club's president Florentino Perez saying the winger's demands for a new contract were too steep.

"There was a letter from Madrid that arrived at 11 in the morning of the match day, we were due to play at 4 in the afternoon... was putting ice on my leg to be in the final," Di Maria told Argentine radio station America on Friday, suggesting the club did not want him to aggravate a leg injury.

"I tore up the letter as soon as it was given to me and didn't take any notice of it, I didn't care what might happen, but it was (coach) Alejandro's (Sabella) decision," he said.

"I didn't want to make any demands of him but I also didn't want to leave the team a man short five minutes from a very important match."

Di Maria, whose goal gave Argentina a 1-0 win over Switzerland in the last 16, suffered a leg muscle injury during the 1-0 quarter-final win over Belgium and took no further part in the tournament.

Argentina lost the final 1-0 after extra time to Germany at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.

"I suffered a lot that morning, it was the worst thing that's happened to me in my life in footballing (terms) because reaching another final is very difficult, not to say impossible," Di Maria said.

"The letter was handed to (late Argentine FA president) Julio (Grondona) and he said if I wanted to play I should do so anyway. From what I understand it had something to do with insurance."

Later on Friday, Julio Grondona Jr accused Perez of wanting to intimidate the AFA into not fielding Di Maria, who was man of the match in Real's Champions league victory in the final against Atletico Madrid in May.

"We received the letter signed by Florentino Perez saying he did not allow Di Maria to play... We called Di Maria and together agreed to tear it up," said Grondona's son, president of Argentine first division club Arsenal which was founded by his father, and a member of Argentina's World Cup delegation.

"We were pressured."

Di Maria, outstanding in Argentina's 4-2 friendly win over Germany in Duesseldorf on Wednesday, denied ever wanting to leave Real and once again praised former team mate Cristiano Ronaldo for backing him to stay at the club.

"I never wanted to leave Madrid, Cristiano always supported me to stay. Selling me was very good for Madrid to recover all they had spent (in the transfer market)," he said.

Read more on:    real madrid  |  angel di maria  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.