Angel Di Maria reveals Real Madrid tried to stop him from playing WC 2014 final

He had been one of the key players for Los Blancos, which won the La Decima (10th Champions League) in the 2013-14 season.

Angel Di Maria will have a key role to play in the Group D fixture against Nigeria, with the last-16 spot on the line.   -  AFP

Angel Di Maria has said he was persuaded by Real Madrid not to play the 2014 FIFA World Cup final against Germany. Di Maria made the sensational revelation in his column for the Player's Tribune.

"It was the morning of the 2014 World Cup Final, at exactly 11 am, and I was sitting on the trainer’s table about to get an injection in my leg. I had torn my thigh muscle in the quarterfinals, but with painkillers, I could run without feeling anything. 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,” Di Maria wrote.

While he was treating the injury, the team doctor came with an envelope which had been sent by Real. “Look, Ángel, this paper came from Real Madrid,” the team doctor told Di Maria, who was, understandably, in shock.

The club had said in the letter, that its player (Di Maria) was not in "any condition to play."

Di Maria understood the motive behind Madrid not wanting him to play the final even if he was carrying an injury. He wrote, "Everybody had heard the rumors that Real wanted to sign James Rodríguez 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."

As fate would have it, Di Maria did miss the final which Argentina lost 1-0 after extra time through Maria Gotze's 117th-minute goal.