By Chris Wright
As is the done thing these days, Angel Di Maria has penned an open letter to the Real Madrid fans after signing for Manchester United yesterday, thanking them for their support over his four years in La Liga and yadda yadda yadda.
In a passage that is sure to warm the cockles of United fans, Di Maria also admits that he never actually wanted to leave Real (we can only assume it was written before last night’s League Cup horror show), but that the club made it impossible for him to stay by not valuing him enough and then circulating “lies” to eventually force him out.
The letter in full:
My time at Real Madrid has come to an end. It is impossible to capture all that has happened in my life in the last four years, but through this open letter I want to express my feelings at this moment of goodbye. In these four years I’ve had the honour of wearing this white shirt and I feel nothing but pride for all that I’ve been through and achieved with my teammates.
Unfortunately today I have to go, but I want to make it clear that I never wished to leave. As anyone who works, always wanted to progress.
After winning La Decima (Real’s 10th European Cup/Champions League title), I went to the World Cup expecting to receive a gesture from the directors, which never came. Many things were said and many lies were spoken. They always wanted to attribute the reason for leaving on me, but that was never the case.
Unfortunately, I am not a footballer like another person. The only thing I asked for is for something fair. There are many things I value and salary is not one of them. I hope to get them at Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in the world and I wish to make history.
I’ve been lucky enough to share the locker room with fantastic players, who have been even better teammates. I think that was the key to La Decima. I wish to apologise for the times I was wrong, on or off the pitch. It was never my intention to hurt anyone.
I sweat and gave it all for this shirt in each game, as if it were my last. There were times when things went in my favour and sometimes not, but what I can say is that I always gave it my all.
I want to thank Spain for everything that it gave me and especially because my daughter (who was born three months premature) was born there. And especially the people at Monteprincipe hospital, who I will always carry in my heart. My wife, my daughter and I will forever be grateful.
Also to my teammates who always gave me their support, in good times and bad, the various managerial staff with whom I worked and also the people with whom I worked on a daily basis, with whom I maintain great relationship.
I wish Real Madrid have a great season and achieve what this club always aspires for. I will always have the memory the moment I played at the Bernabeu in the Supercopa and received the immense affection of the fans.
Thank you very much. I still have goosebumps.
I would not have asked for a better farewell for which was unfortunately my last game.
Poor little lamb. So hard done by.
Di Maria is scheduled to make his United debut against Burnley at Turf Moor, one of the stadiums he must have dreamed about playing at as a young boy growing up in Rosario, on Saturday lunchtime.