Angel di Maria has recalled how he tore up a letter from Real Madrid demanding he not to play in the 2014 World Cup final.
The Argentine tore a muscle in the quarter-final against Belgium and was at risk of doing further damage if he played through the pain later in the tournament.
Madrid, who had already lined up James Rodriguez to replace Di Maria at the Bernabeu, were worried they wouldn't be able to sell him if he returned with a long-term injury.
So the club sent a letter threatening him with a lawsuit over playing in the final. The winger claims he didn't even open it and instead ripped it up.
"I received a blow during the game against Belgium," Di Maria told Podemos Hablar on Telefe, per AS.
"My foot was not right, but I wanted to play [in the final].
"I didn’t care if I did not play football again. In fact, it was one of the things that they told me could happen, but for me, it was the final of the World Cup. It was my final.
"I already knew that they wanted to sell me because it had been said that James [Rodriguez] was heading to Madrid, and he was going to take my position.
"When I got the letter from Real Madrid I could envisage everything.
"Without opening it, I ripped it up. I didn’t want to read it, or even look at it. The person who had to make the decision whether or not to play was me."
It's absolutely crazy to hear Madrid pulled something like that. Imagine trying to block one of your players from featuring in a World Cup final, just to protect his transfer value.
Unbelievable. Sadly, even though he ignored the letter, Di Maria wasn't fit enough to play the final and watched from the bench as Argentina were beaten by Germany in extra-time.
He was sold to Manchester United a few weeks later, before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2015.
- Football legends who have chosen between Messi & Ronaldo
- The 21 greatest club sides in history
- Jose Mourinho names all-time XI of players he coached