Football

Angel Di Maria says Real Madrid tried to prevent him playing in World Cup Final


Angel Di Maria has revealed Real Madrid sent him a letter pleading that he sit out Argentina’s World Cup final against Germany in 2014.

The Argentina forward had injured his hamstring against Belgium in his side’s 1-0 win in the quarter-final and was forced to miss the semi-final victory over the Netherlands.

Di Maria, who went on to join Manchester United after the tournament, also missed the final after failing to prove his fitness.

But he had ignored a letter from his club asking him not to play in case his injury jeopardised a transfer away from the Bernabeu.

Angel Di Maria was injured against Belgium

Di Maria told an Argentinian television programme: “The three of us who know the truth are Dr. Daniel Martinez, [manager] Alejandro Sabella and myself.

“I came with the tear from the game with Belgium, I was right, 90 per cent.

“The leg was not quite right but I wanted to play, I didn’t care about anything if I didn’t play football again. It was one of the things they had told me could happen but for me it was the end of the world, it was my end.

“I knew they wanted to sell me and then the letter came, Daniel gave it to me and told me it was from Real Madrid, but I didn’t even want to look at it.

Angel Di Maria celebrates beside Karim Benzema after scoring against Penarol during the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy on August 24, 2010
Di Maria left Real Madrid after the tournament

“I went to talk to Alejandro and I said crying that I was not 100 per cent. I knew that he loved me and wanted me to play, but he was looking for the best for the team.

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“He was going to play me but I wanted to try and later in the meeting he finally decided to put Enzo Perez in my place.”

Argentina went on to lose the final to Germany thanks to Mario Goetze’s extra-time winner.

And Di Maria spent only one season at United where he struggled to replicate the form he had shown in Spain and was sold to Paris Saint-Germain in 2015.





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