Radja Nainggolan wants to be "judged on his performances" after claiming he was left out of Belgium's World Cup squad due to his reputation.
Red Devils boss Roberto Martinez made the call to omit Nainggolan from his provisional 28-man party for the tournament in Russia on Monday, despite a fine season for the Roma midfielder that saw him play a pivotal role in the Giallorossi's run to the Champions League semi-finals.
The decision was met with surprise and the former Cagliari man feels the perception of him as a troublemaker was decisive.
He told HLN: "I'm sad, I deserved to be there. I got to the Champions League semi-finals and I played well with Roma, I cannot do more than that.
"But I do not like wearing a mask, I am who I am, and if some people don't like that I cannot do anything about it.
"I am always painted as a bad boy but football is still a hobby for me. Okay, it has become my job but I want to be judged on my performances, not for what I do off the field.
"Everybody is free to do what he wants if they play well on the field. Do you think all the players are good guys?"
After the squad was announced, the 30-year-old took to social media to confirm his retirement from international football.
"I've had enough," he added. "I will not continue to fight. I had already planned to stop if they did not let me go to the World Cup.
"It is true that last year I considered making myself unavailable for Belgium, but I still hoped to be able to participate in an experience like the World Cup, it was my childhood dream and now it has been taken away."
Martinez travelled to the Italian capital on Sunday to discuss the World Cup with Nainggolan, who said he would be happy to go as a squad player.
He said: "The coach came to Rome, which I thought was good. I would have done the same for him. If I have a problem with someone I go to them.
"He told me 'If I were a club coach, I would build a team around you but it's not possible in the national team'. He said 'I'm too important a player to participate in the World Cup as the 20th man in the squad'.
"In part I understand his explanation but if two midfielders get injured does he think I would misbehave on the bench?
"I reassured him that I would be ready if he needed me, if necessary also as the 22nd [man in the squad], in any role, just tell me what you expect from me.
"The conversation lasted about 20 minutes and he told me that his choice had not yet been made. But I knew from his explanation that 70 per cent I would not be going.
"He was afraid of having problems if he took me to Russia."
|DeGrom strikes out 12, Mets hit 5 homers in win over Yankees|
|Djokovic needs nine MPs as Murray crashes out|
|Murray unsure of US Open readiness after Cincinnati exit|
|Van Dijk: Alisson making difference at Liverpool|
|Johnson saves eight MPs but Djokovic prevails|
|Federer anxious ahead of Cincinnati comeback|
|Tevez relishing Messi reunion|
|Ronaldo arrival has taken Juve forward in Europe – Nedved|
|Serena steamrolls Gavrilova in Cincinnati return|
|Packers QB Rodgers doesn´t regret criticising team-mates|
|Indians OF Martin recovering from life-threatening bacterial infection|
|Shoulder injury sends Royals starter Duffy to DL|
|Yankees place Sabathia on DL with right knee inflammation|
|Aubameyang urges Emery to capitalise on his ´spark´ with Lacazette|
|Anderson can play until he´s 40, says Bayliss|
|Keita living childhood dream after securing Inter switch|
|49ers to sign veteran RB Alfred Morris, Kyle Shanahan says|
|Arnaiz leaves Barcelona for Leganes in €5m deal|
|Tottenham´s move to new stadium delayed|
|Roosters-bound Hall suffers ACL injury|
|Murray suffers Cincinnati defeat to Pouille|
|No Cech mate - Arsenal goalkeeper hits back at Bayer Leverkusen|
|Halep first to seal WTA Finals spot|
|Veteran Carmelo Anthony pens one-year Rockets deal|
|Runners and Ryders: Poulter closes in on Team Europe spot|
|Gameiro presented by Valencia after departing Atletico Madrid|
|World Cup winner Kimpembe extends PSG contract to 2023|
|AC Milan send Locatelli on loan to Sassuolo|
|South Africa´s Etzebeth set for return from injury|
|Rafinha ´very likely´ to stay at Barcelona|
|No dual Ryder Cup role should Woods make USA team, says Furyk|
|Inter complete Keita deal|
|David Silva announces retirement from international football|
|Modric in Real Madrid´s UEFA Super Cup squad amid Inter links|
|Neville hopes Shaw is on to something special after first United goal|
|Unchanged England waiting on Stokes verdict|
|Yates brothers to race Vuelta together|
|Kalinic explains why he rejected World Cup medal|
|Furyk excited to see Woods´ return to form|
|Liverpool ignoring media´s champions chat, says Van Dijk|
|Suspended Smith replaces Kohli as top-ranked Test batsman|
|Tiger fanfare inevitable but it´s time to recognise Koepka as the star he is|
|Dier: Tottenham will shut up transfer critics|
|Fernandes leaves West Ham for Fiorentina on loan|
|´No chance´ Willian would have stayed at Chelsea under Conte|
|Vettel confident he can catch Hamilton|
|Cane dismisses talk of All Blacks limiting haka|
|Zaha promises Palace commitment as contract talks continue|
|Real Madrid defender Odriozola to miss UEFA Super Cup|
|All Blacks wary of Pocock threat|
|Bayern Munich confirm no ligament damage for Alaba|
|Nicklaus hails Koepka´s great year after US PGA triumph|
|Keita ready to ´explode´ at Inter|
|Halep: Stephens makes me a better player|
|Manchester United loan Wilson to Aberdeen|
|Beale backs Hodge to start in Rugby Championship opener|
|Bakayoko arrives for AC Milan medical|
|Australia favourites for Rugby Championship opener, says Hansen|
|Muller hails Lewandowski: That´s why Bayern won´t let him go|
|Allegri eyes Champions League after watching Ronaldo score first Juventus goal|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Barcelona or Real Madrid - whose close-season transfers have been better?|
|Fekir almost certain to stay at Lyon, says Aulas|
|Tuchel unaware of PSG deal for Kehrer|
|MLS Review: Rooney´s heroics lift DC, Villa inspires NYC|
|Sale strikes out 12 in Red Sox´s win over Orioles|
|Scott buoyed by Bellerive display|
|Edmund, Mannarino win Cincinnati openers|
|WATCH: Rooney saves open goal before setting up last-gasp winner|
|Kovac praises three-goal Lewandowski but thanks Heynckes|
|Nadal withdraws from Cincinnati Masters|