Exclusive: Angel Di Maria left heartbroken by Real Madrid

'They stopped me playing in World Cup final,' claims Argentina midfielder
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The Independent Online

Angel Di Maria last night claimed his former club Real Madrid told him not to play for Argentina in the World Cup final.

The 26-year-old midfielder, who completed a British record £60 million transfer to Manchester United last month, has already blamed Real Madrid president Florentino Perez for selling him against his wishes.

Di Maria was a major doubt ahead of the final with Germany in July with a thigh injury but says he was "heartbroken" after receiving a letter from Madrid urging him not to gamble further injury by playing.

Di Maria said: "Playing for Argentina means the world to me and the thought of missing the World Cup final was cruel, it was the saddest point in my career, I was in pieces, it was heartbreaking.

"This was the biggest game of my life and deep down I knew I couldn't risk it with the injury I was carrying.

"I was desperate to play but I wasn't going to put the team at risk. What was the point of the team having just 10 players after 10 minutes if I broke down with an injury?

"Then Real Madrid sent me a letter. It arrived about 11am in the morning. I was distraught and I was already on my knees in pieces.

"It informed me that I shouldn't risk playing with an injury and should withdraw. I just ripped the letter up and threw it away. I never spoke to anyone at the club at all." Di Maria believed Madrid wanted re-assurance for their own reasons and didn't care about how he felt personally.

"I was in a terrible mess. How did people expect me to feel? The players were desperate for me to play especially Lionel Messi but I couldn't risk it. I had to make a personal sacrifice for the team.

"All Madrid were interested in were themselves. They wanted reassurance about insurance cover in case I got injured. It was all about them and only for economical reasons, they didn't really care how I felt.

"When I knew I wasn't going to play you can imagine how I felt. The Argentina manager made the decision not to play me and that was in the best interest of the team. I accept these things happen but it didn't make it any easier for me."

Di Maria was to have a further fall-out with Real Madrid after Perez refused to meet the player's wage demands precipitating his move to Manchester United for a British transfer record , signing a five-year deal last month.

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