Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria always intended to stay at former club Real Madrid as he prepares to return for the sides’ Champions League clash.
The Group A rivals meet in the Spanish capital next week with Di Maria set to feature at the Bernabeu for the first time since leaving for Manchester United in 2014.
The Argentina international struggled to adapt to life at Old Trafford, having been made Britain’s most expensive footballer at the time of the move.
While understandably keen to forget his time in the Premier League, Di Maria still looks fondly at his time in the Spanish Capital, where he helped Madrid win a 10th Champions League title in his final season.
“My intention was always to stay at Real Madrid,” he told Marca.
“I do not know much about what happened as these are more things for representatives.
“These things happen in football. I left Madrid but I had the most beautiful last ovation from the Bernabeu and with that I remain calm.
“They always wanted to attribute a desire to leave the club, but it was not true. The only thing I asked for is something that was fair. There are many things that I value and many of them have nothing to do with my salary.
“After winning La Decima I went to the World Cup with the hope of receiving the nod from the directors, which never came. Many things and many lies were spoken.
“I didn’t have much of a relationship with [Madrid president] Florentino Perez. This is a president who does what he has to do in his work. When I signed, I signed and when I had to go, I went.”
PSG and Madrid top the group at the midway stage and played out a goalless draw in Paris last week, Rafael Benitez’s injury-hit side claiming a point to stay at the summit.
“PSG can win the Champions League. Players want the trophy and club needs this trophy,” Di Maria added.
“In the Bernabeu we will see a brave PSG but if I score at the Bernabeu I won’t celebrate it. It’s a matter of respect for those who were my fans and my partners.”