Angel Di Maria reveals the reason why Real Madrid stopped him playing in 2014 World Cup final
‘I told Daniel to give me the letter. I didn't even open it. I just ripped it into pieces’
The Real Madrid star was due to line up for his country against Germany in the final in Brazil, but the winger's dreams came crashing down after Real Madrid refused to let him play because he had picked up an injury during the quarter-finals.
Di Maria has now revealed the real reason why he was prevented from saving his country from crashing to defeat.
The 30-year-old Paris St-German talisman penned a heartfelt essay in The Player's Tribune, titled 'In the rain, in the cold, in the dark'.
"I told our trainers these exact words: 'If I break, then let me keep breaking. I don't care. I just want to be able to play'. So I was putting ice on my leg when our team doctor, Daniel Martinez, came into the room holding this envelope, and he said, 'Look, Angel, this paper came from Real Madrid.'
"I said 'what are you talking about?' He said, 'Well, they're saying you're not in any condition to play. So they are forcing us to not let you play today.'
"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."
He also recounted the haunting moment he spoke to Argentine manager Alejandro Sabella, to plead his way into playing, even so much as crying in front of him.
"I said, “If it’s me, it’s me. If it’s another, then it’s another. I just want to win the World Cup. If you call on me, I will play until I break.”
"And then I started crying. I couldn’t help it. The moment had overwhelmed me."
But his fate was sealed and he was not called upon, watching Argentine's defeat from the bench.
"We were so close to achieving the impossible dream," he added.
Now he remains hopeful that the Argentines will salvage their World Cup campaign after the devastating loss to Croatia, and hopes to be recalled to the starting line-up against Nigeria.
Argentina and the African outfit go head to head on Tuesday in Russia, in what will be the deciding match in Group D.
While Nigeria will be focusing on toppling the South American side, Argentina need to take home a victory which beats Iceland's result against Croatia.