Marouane Fellaini has defended his reputation at Manchester United, hitting out at “old players” whose time is “long gone”.
Fellaini has been chastised constantly since joining United in 2013, but has emerged as one of Jose Mourinho’s most important players.
The midfielder is currently out through injury but had established himself in the first team after a number of difficult years under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.
Now in contract negotiations with United but expected to leave, Fellaini has expressed his dissatisfaction with the English media.
“They have labelled me an aggressive player, a murderer,” he told Belgian outlet Humo.
“Look, I’m fanatical. The team that wants it the hardest wins. But there have been times when I came out as the villain.
“What should I do if they pull me by the hair? It sounds like a joke, but it really hurts.
“Last season I was suspended after the derby against City for a headbutt against Aguero. He stepped towards me and then dropped dead. But, no, I get the red.
“Players often try to provoke me but do you know how many yellow cards I collected last season? Four, in 45 matches. I’ve never destroyed someone’s career.”
“I no longer need to prove anything – not in England or Belgium,” he added.
“There may be criticism from all sides but nothing can touch me.
“Until that first year in Manchester I had never been under fire. Suddenly it happened, and I was not good at that.
“Why should I care what an old player says about me? His time is long gone. The football world is full of hypocrisy.
“Trust me, I have seen a lot. I have experienced players who were top, but also players who have disappointed me. Players who you imagined had strong personalities, but in my eyes were weaklings.”