‘I stayed at Madrid because…’

Angel Di Maria has revealed why he decided to stay at Real Madrid over the summer, despite interest from several European sides.

Tottenham and Arsenal were said to be keen on the Argentine winger, but the former Benfica man opted to stick it out at Santiago Bernabeu.

“It’s a club that always attracts players, but sometimes it forgets about the players it already has,” he told Rock and Pop Radio.

“It has a lot of money and can attract big players every year. I decided to stay because I knew I would have a chance of playing.

“I decided to stay. I knew big players would be arriving, expensive players, and that getting a game was going to be difficult, but I stayed. I knew that my form was good for the national team, and with the Madrid squad during pre-season.

“Thankfully things have gone well. The Coach has confidence in me and is playing me, which is the most important thing.

“My contract runs until 2018 and hopefully I’ll reach that point, which would be a privilege. Every day I try to give everything to be here, and I’m going to fight for the shirt until the death, and until the day I leave.”

Di Maria then commented on Gonzalo Higuain and Mesut Ozil, both of whom left Los Blancos during the transfer window.

“I spoke to Gonzalo. He’d been here for seven years and felt he had completed a cycle and needed a breath of fresh air.

“The change has done him good. ‘El Pipa’ had a lot of pressure on him.

“The fans, the papers… a ‘number 9’ not scoring goals, it was just too much. He endured a lot. Sometimes he was ‘murdered’ for not scoring and that changes you.”

“I hadn’t spoken to Mesut before he left. People say he went because new players were coming in, but I’m not really sure about that. What I do know is that I wanted to stay and I’m happy.”

The 25-year-old then remarked on Gareth Bale’s arrival from Tottenham.

“The Coach has said that the player in the best form will play and he’s proving that. Every game he assembles the team he wants.

“I don’t think he (Bale) was training at Tottenham before he came, and he was in a fight with the club, that’s why he hasn’t been starting. He started against Villarreal and I started on the bench.

“The trainer plays with whoever he feels he needs for that particular game. Bale’s position would be the one I’m playing in. I’m trying to give it everything so that the coach knows that he has a player that is giving 100% to make the starting line-up.”

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