The ex-Real Madrid player has criticised his former club for treating him as a ‘business asset’ as the Argentine was urged not to risk his injured physique.
Published By: Dalipinder Singh Sandhu (Bliss)
The current Argentina NT and PSG midfielder has time and again lashed out at his former club Real Madrid. The relationship between the club and the player started to deteriorate due to the issues of salary and after the club saw a potential replacement in James Rodriguez who was excelling in FIFA World Cup 2014, the exit of Angel Di Maria became more evident.
Angel Di Maria wrote in player’s tribute regarding the incident where he wanted to play in the FIFA World Cup final 2014 against Germany. As Di Maria was injured the Spanish capital club urged him not to play against his own will. The letter from Real Madrid which was delivered to the player via the team doctor Daniel Martinez, which was torn without even being read.
“I immediately knew what was happening, everybody had heard the rumours that Real wanted to sign James Rodriguez after the World Cup, and I knew that they were going to sell me to make room for him. So they didn’t want their asset to be damaged. It was that simple.
That’s the business of football that people do not always see. I told Daniel to give me the letter. I didn’t even open it. I just ripped it into pieces and said, ‘throw it away, the one who decides here is me’.”
Di Maria continued and conveyed that he took two painkillers before the match day and during the halftime in order to be ready to come on the pitch at any given moment. Di Maria also tried to convince the coach Alejandro Sabella that he can play but that went in vain as the player did not feature as his national side lost 1-0 to Germany.
“I sincerely wanted to play that day even if it ended my career,But I also didn’t want to make things complicated for our team. So I woke up early that morning and went to see our manager, Sabella. We had a very close relationship, so if I told him that I wanted to start, I knew that he would feel the pressure to put me in.
I told him sincerely, with my hand on my heart, that he should put in the player that he felt he had to put in. When we had our team talk before the match, Sabella announced that Enzo Pérez was going to start, because he was 100 percent healthy. I was at peace with that decision.
I treated myself with an injection before the match, and again during the second half, so that I would be ready to play if I was called from the bench.
But the call never came. We lost the World Cup, and I couldn’t control anything. It was the most difficult day of my life. After the match, the media were saying ugly things about why I didn’t play. But what I’m telling you is the absolute truth.
What still haunts me is the moment when I went to speak to Sabella, and I broke down in tears in front of him. Because I will always wonder if he thought that I was crying because I was nervous.
In truth, it had nothing to do with nerves. I was overcome with emotion because of how much the moment meant to me. We were so close to achieving the impossible dream.”
The full open letter by the Angel Di Maria can be read here: https://www.theplayerstribune.com/es-es/articles/angel-di-maria-argentina-english
Argentina now struggle to get past the group stage in FIFA World Cup 2018. The South-American side needs a victory against Nigeria in order to qualify and hope that Croatia beats Iceland.