Ángel di María has claimed that Real Madrid asked Argentina not to play him in the World Cup final against Germany to avoid the player getting injured ahead of a potential transfer. Di María joined Manchester United for a British transfer record fee of £59.7 million from European Champions Real Madrid who won the much coveted ‘La Decima’ after beating city rivals Atletico Madrid 4-1 in May.

Madrid’s president Florentino Pérez had recently revealed that the Argentine was demanding an exorbitant contract and hence the club couldn’t reach an agreement with him. Di Maria meanwhile claims that Perez sent a letter before the final to preserve him so that he could be sold.

Speaking to the Argentine radio station, he said, “I received a letter at 11 in the morning from Real Madrid on the day of the match telling me to not play in the World Cup final. I knew that I wasn’t fit enough but I ripped up the letter immediately. I spoke with Alejandro Sabella and it was his decision not to play me.”

Di María had to come off in the early stages of the quarter-final win over Belgium because of a leg muscle injury and didn’t feature again in the tournament. Argentina lost the final to Germany 1-0 after extra time in Rio de Janeiro.

“I suffered a lot that morning and it is the worst thing that’s happened to me in my career because reaching a World Cup final is very difficult. The letter was handed over to [late Argentina FA president] Julio [Grondona] and he said that I should play if I wanted to. From what I understand, it was because Madrid wanted me to stay fit.”

Di Maria was man of the match in Argentina’s 4-2 win over Germany on Wednesday as he claimed three assists before adding Argentina’s 4th goal after a delightful chip over Manuel Neuer.