Angel Di Maria has hit out at Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and claims that his former club ordered him not to play for Argentina in the World Cup final.
The 26-year-old has already criticised the Madrid chief in an open letter following his £59.7 million move to Manchester United, insisting that he originally had no intention to leave the European champions this summer.
Di Maria was a doubt ahead of the World Cup final against Germany in July with a thigh injury, and he has revealed that the decision for him to miss out was made by Alejandro Sabella, Argentina’s coach at the time, rather than Madrid, who had advised him to sit out.
“There was a letter that arrived from Madrid at 11am on the day of the game while I was in physio, trying to be the best I could be for the final, telling me to not play. I tore it up and ignored it, it made no difference” Di Maria told Argentine radio programme America & Closs.
“I talked with Alejandro and his it was his decision. I didn’t want to pressure him. I knew I could have to come off after 15 minutes and leave the team, I didn’t want that.”
A public row between Di Maria and Madrid supremo Perez has broken out in the weeks since the Argentine elected to move to Old Trafford, with the Perez suggesting the player moved for the money.
The 67-year-old, who has been the driving force behind los Blancos’ ‘Galactico’ policy, recently claimed that only Cristiano Ronaldo would have earned more at the Santiago Bernabeu had Di Maria signed a contract extension rather than move to England, but the former Benfica winger has denied the claim.
“I saw what he said. To be able to earn what Cristiano earns I would have had to have been the best player at the World Cup or won the Ballon d’Or. It looks like he [Perez] gave that offer to another person. I don’t have a clue who he offered that to. I don’t have much of a relationship with him. When I signed a new deal he wasn’t there either.
“I never said I wanted to leave Real Madrid, I never wanted that, but you have to move when they don’t want you. Let them say what they want about me, the millions they received for selling me will help the Real Madrid economy very well.”
Di Maria, who also praised his former club’s fans and insists his problem is only with the hierarchy, also confirmed previous reports that Ronaldo supported his stance and wanted him to stay in the Spanish capital.
And after the Portuguese hinted that he has become frustrated with the Spanish club’s transfer policy in the last week, Di Maria suggested that his former team-mate could yet reach breaking point.
“Cristiano was always on my side. I don’t know how much he will put up with at Real Madrid.”
Di Maria made his Manchester United debut in a goalless draw against Burnley before the international break and maintains that he still needs time to settle.
“I’m very happy but still I have to adapt,” he said. “I hope we can put Manchester United back where they deserve to be. I had got used to the style of play in Spain, now I have to adapt as soon as possible.
“I don’t know how to speak English yet, they have given me a teacher. I call [Juan] Mata so he can help me.”