Angel Di Maria Would Have Left Real Madrid in 2013 but for Cristiano Ronaldo

Mark Patterson@@MarkPattersonBRUK Staff WriterSeptember 2, 2014

Real's Angel Di Maria, right is congratulated by Real's Cristiano Ronaldo after he scored during the Champions League group B soccer match between Real Madrid and FC Copenhagen at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

Angel Di Maria has said he would have left Real Madrid a season earlier had it not been for his friend Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine joined Manchester United this summer in a £59.7 million deal, but he was also under pressure in 2013 after Gareth Bale was signed. In the end, playmaker Mesut Ozil was the man who made way, heading to Arsenal.

Speaking on ESPN Radio and reported by Marca, Di Maria said:

The truth is that I have a great friendship with Cristiano Ronaldo; thanks to him I stayed on another season at Real.

I left the best way possible, after winning 'La Décima'. I'm very grateful to Manchester United for paying what Real were wanting. I didn't have to come out and set things straight. In the letter I wrote everything that I felt since that first day I set foot on the Bernabeú pitch.

On Monday Ronaldo hinted that he was not entirely happy with Real Madrid's transfer business, though he also added that president Florentino Perez's track record meant he should be supported.

Cristiano Ronaldo appears to suggest he's not totally happy with Real Madrid's summer business

— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) September 1, 2014