Angel Di Maria has revealed that he tore up a letter from Real Madrid requesting that he miss the 2014 World Cup final with Argentina.
Di Maria was ever-present in the Albiceleste's campaign in Brazil until he suffered a muscle injury in the first-half of the quarter-final match against Belgium.
He missed the semi-final victory over Netherlands ended up an unused substitute as his side lost 1-0 after extra-time to Germany in the tournament decider.
The winger says that he was determined to make the squad for the final against Joachim Low's team, but Madrid got their way in the end.
"The only three who know the truth are doctor Daniel Martinez, [coach] Alejandro Sabella and me," Di Maria said in an interview with Telefe.
"I had a tear in the game against Belgium, I was at about 90 per cent. The leg wasn't totally right, but I wanted to play and I didn't care at all if I never played football again.
"It was one of the things I was told could happen, but for me it was the World Cup final, it was my final.
"I knew [Real Madrid] wanted to sell me, and so the letter arrived. Daniel told me it was from Real Madrid, but I didn't even want to look at it and I tore it up.
"I went to talk to Alejandro and I told him, crying, that I wasn't at 100%. I knew he loved me and that he wanted me to play, but he sought the best for the team.
"I was going to have an injection. I wanted to try. But after the meeting, he decided to play Enzo Perez in my place."
The 32-year-old, who now plays for Paris Saint-Germain, is concerned about the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed over 30,000 lives and infected more than 690,000 people across the world.
With European football at a standstill, Di Maria and his family are making sure they stay at home to minimise the risk of contracting Covid-19.
"What we are experiencing is crazy, we are not having a very good time. We have been isolated for 14 days. We have two more days at the request of the club.
"We've been out to the supermarket only once and returned, because we do not want to expose our daughters.
"Luckily with video calls we can talk [with family in Argentina] every day and that gives us more peace of mind."