|Name||Angel Di Maria|
|Desc||A key player in the glorious Real Madrid side that won La Liga in 2011/12 and the Champions League two seasons later. Widely considered a flop when he left Manchester United after only one miserable season, but the Argentine completely reinvented himself at Paris Saint-Germain, the starring attraction in one of the most expensive squads ever assembled, containing the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani|
|Org||Argentina National Team|
|Club as Player||Paris Saint-Germain|
2014 12 10 Retrieve
[Angel di Maria on Wayne Rooney] Rooney is at the top level. Playing with him is a pleasure and a point of pride. When I was 15, more or less, I used to watch him playing with United. I admired him and wanted to be like that. The other day I was talking to my friend and I said, ‘Rooney and me understand each other, just like Messi and me in the Argentina squad, or Cristiano at Real Madrid. I get on really well with Rooney, we get together on the pitch to kick the ball about, to do things. He’s a spectacular player and he’s one of the top players in the game
2015 02 14 Retrieve
[Angel Di Maria on the difference between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo compared to the rest of the world] If I were FIFA, I’d have two Ballon d’Or prizes, one for that pair to fight over, and another for everyone else
2015 08 08 Retrieve
[Angel Di Maria in a letter to the Manchester United supporters] I’m aware things didn’t work as we all expected and believe me, I feel really sorry about it. I can guarantee you it was not for trying. I did my best, but football is not like maths: often a lot of things out of our control affect the way we feel and the way things turn out. I am sorry it did not work out as I would have wished in this amazing huge club. I want to give special thanks to all the directors and management of Manchester United as well as to every member of the staff and colleagues as they gave me all their support. Also a special mention to all the fans who always trusted me and showed me their respect and love. Now is time to move to PSG but the Glorious Manchester United Club will be forever in my memory!
2016 06 11 Retrieve
[An understandably emotional Angel Di Maria dedicated the goal he scored for Argentina against Chile in the Copa America Centenario group stage to his late grandmother] It’s difficult to be away when something like this happens. My mom asked me to stay here with my team-mates and to win the game. I am so happy because I was able to score, it was for my grandmother and my family that are having a difficult time. I knew that I could score. In the morning when I knew what happened I knew that I would score today, and that happened and it was for her.
2019 10 03 Retrieve
[Angel Di Maria has revealed that a speech by Lionel Messi after Argentina’s defeat by Brazil at the Copa America this summer left everyone in tears] Messi said some beautiful words when we were eliminated by Brazil. Messi told us he was proud of the team we had built. That we had not been together much as some had not been called up [to the senior team] before. Yet, it felt as though we had all been together for many years. He said that we had all rowed in the same direction from the first day. That he was very proud of the youngsters for their commitment to this jersey and if they were there and gave what they gave at the Copa America, it was because they more than deserved to be there. Once he finished, everyone was in tears because it touched everyone’s hearts, especially the youngsters. The young players are the ones that have to carry on in the same path. It will not be easy for them. They will have to work and continue giving their all as sooner or later, luck will be on our side
[It has been suggested the 31-year-old lacks the passion required to lead the team] There was a lot of criticism that he didn’t sing [the national anthem], that he didn’t talk. This Copa America was different. He proved it. What made me happier was to see how he spoke in front of the group, how he spoke to reporters, what he said. The important thing is that Leo is like this. I like this Messi
2019 09 21 Retrieve
[Missing Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria told how PSG were still able to score a convincing UEFA Champions League win over Real Madrid] I think we made them weak. Running so much, pressing so hard and doing our passing – we know they struggle a lot trying to recover the ball. I think that was the most important thing we did. We trained for these past two days and it came out perfectly. This is the most important thing and we are very happy about that
2019 12 20 Retrieve
[Quote on Zlatan] I have played with Leo [Lionel Messi], Cristiano [Ronaldo], [Wayne] Rooney, and now I have the chance to play with Ibra. I’d never realised how good he is, all the moves he has, despite him being so tall. I think he has a lot of quality
2020 01 25 Retrieve
[Di Maria: I hope that PSG will be my last club in Europe] For the moment, there are no discussions (about an extension). I have another 1.5 years on my current contract, I am staying calm. I have been saying it from the first day. I hope that PSG will be my last club in Europe, then I will return to play in Argentina
[Speaking about the future of his team-mate Cavani] I think Cavani is a player of the club. And for his future? It’s between the club and him. The most important thing is that everyone is happy
2020 01 31 Retrieve
[Di Maria: I’ve played with Messi, Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic & Rooney - Leo is the best] It was a dream to have the possibility to play with [Wayne] Rooney, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, Cristiano [Ronaldo], Leo [Messi]… they were players that I used on the PlayStation and I would never have imagined I’d get to play with them.
I used to watch them and then to have the opportunity to play with them was really nice. Leo is the best of the four, Cristiano is a monster and Neymar is simply a joy for football. He’s Brazilian and when he plays all he does is have fun. Ibra is crazy, a total character. On the pitch he might seem like a bad guy but he is awesome, a really good guy. I got along with him very well when he was here. Rooney is a quiet guy. I never thought he would be as strong as he is. With all the great players I have played with, it’s hard to choose. But if I had to pick one, it would be Leo
Mbappe is a little animal. He has a great mentality. He’s a good boy, always calm, and plays at a high level. Even with everything he has done, he can do more. If he continues with the mentality he has, I know that he will win the Ballon d’Or
2020 02 01 Retrieve
[Angel Di Maria tells about playing with Lionel Messi and other greats] It was a dream to have the possibility to play with Rooney, Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo, and Messi. They were players that I used on the PlayStation and I would never have imagined I’d get to play with them. But Leo is the best of the four!
2020 02 01b Retrieve
[Angel Di Maria talks Neymar throws almighty strop at half-time of PSG win] It’s difficult, nobody wants to go out, everyone wants to play. It’s normal. Any striker that the coach wants to take off is going to find it difficult sometimes, but you have to understand there are players on the bench who want to come on
[Di Maria added on another frontman, Edinson Cavani, who remains on PSG’s books after missing out on a January transfer] He’s been 100% with us since the start of the year, there have been lots of talks, but he’s still with us. He scored but it was ruled out, but the important thing is that he was able to come in, play a little and that is important for him
2020 02 03 Retrieve
[Angel Di Maria says Kylian Mbappe needs to be more considerate of his team-mates after his angry reaction to being substituted] It is very difficult, nobody wanted to go off, everyone wants to play, that’s normal. Kylian wants to score, but the manager decided that he was to come off, there are boys on the bench who want to come on and have the ability, he needs to get that
Cavani is 100 per cent with us. Since the beginning of the season a lot of things have happened, what’s important is that he came on and was able to play, that is the key today
2020 02 04 Retrieve
[Di Maria uses Premier League to defend PSG’s dominance in France] It has changed a lot. I think that it’s getting more competitive with every passing year. Every season, teams are stronger, it get harder to win. My two first campaigns here … I’m not saying that they were east but the opposition was not as strong as it is now. Little by little, the league has become more competitive, harder to win. Teams have worked out how to play against us. Coaches have formulated plans to play PSG, Marseille, Lyon. It’s important and I think that it is helping the league grow. Many feel the league is weaker than others but look at other leagues, look at England! Liverpool are streets ahead, and when we build up a similar lead it’s because the league isn’t as good?! There are fewer star names here, but the league is really competitive
I don’t like losing. I really don’t. I like winning […] winning.. winning … I think that that is what has helped me get to what I am today, always looking forwards. Every time we lose a game or even when we are held to a disappointing draw, it hurts me, it really does. We work during the week to be able to win, win, win and when we don’t manage to win, it’s a big blow!
2020 02 04b Retrieve
[Angel Di Maria admits that playing alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Lionel Messi for club and country has often restricted him to training-ground practice when it comes to free-kicks] Yes, I do. I’ve always had people around me like Cristiano, Messi … in the national team, but at Real Madrid and Manchester [United] too! I’ve always been surrounded by top quality players, who score a lot of goals! But I’ve learned little by little. You never finish learning. There is always room to improve. With Madrid, I would only take free-kicks in training because either Cristiano or Bale would take them! With hard work I gained in confidence and when I got my opportunity here (at PSG), it was lucky that I scored. That’s important!
[Asked how he decides which side to aim for] It’s a feeling… the moment you see the wall, you see where the goalkeeper is, all of that. Your team-mates help too because they create panic in the wall. That’s when you start to realise what the best choice will be
Honestly, I don’t set myself goals. The only objective I give myself is to be a champion, to win every title. That is all I want at the start of the season. Afterwards, individually, I don’t set myself targets. Like I said, I work hard for the team, I try to do my best. If I can score, I score. If I can provide an assist, I provide an assist. After that, it’s about running and working for the team. That’s all I focus on
2020 02 04c Retrieve
[Angel Di Maria claims that he didn’t have a choice but to take the No.7 shirt at Manchester United] I don’t really know. When I arrived, I saw that the No.11 was available. It’s a shirt number I wore a lot when I was younger and I was keen to get once again. At Real Madrid, No.11 was already taken, so I took 22. At Manchester United they gave me No.7, I didn’t get a choice. I would have liked 11 but there we are. Here, I had a choice, so I chose 11!
PSG is very important to me. They welcomed me with open arms in a period when I was finding it difficult in Manchester. I came here with ambition, and determination to succeed. Little by little, I showed that I was capable, that I could help the club achieve great things. I always do my best to help the club succeed
2020 03 29 Retrieve
[Angel Di Maria has revealed that he tore up a letter from Real Madrid requesting that he miss the 2014 World Cup final with Argentina] The only three who know the truth are doctor Daniel Martinez, [coach] Alejandro Sabella and me. I had a tear in the game against Belgium, I was at about 90 per cent. The leg wasn’t totally right, but I wanted to play and I didn’t care at all if I never played football again. It was one of the things I was told could happen, but for me it was the World Cup final, it was my final. I knew [Real Madrid] wanted to sell me, and so the letter arrived. Daniel told me it was from Real Madrid, but I didn’t even want to look at it and I tore it up. I went to talk to Alejandro and I told him, crying, that I wasn’t at 100%. I knew he loved me and that he wanted me to play, but he sought the best for the team. I was going to have an injection. I wanted to try. But after the meeting, he decided to play Enzo Perez in my place
[Di Maria and his family are making sure they stay at home to minimise the risk of contracting Covid-19] What we are experiencing is crazy, we are not having a very good time. We have been isolated for 14 days. We have two more days at the request of the club. We’ve been out to the supermarket only once and returned, because we do not want to expose our daughters. Luckily with video calls we can talk [with family in Argentina] every day and that gives us more peace of mind
2020 03 30 Retrieve
[Real Madrid sent Angel di Maria letter telling him not to play the 2014 World Cup final] I received a blow during the game against Belgium. My foot was not right, but I wanted to play [in the final]. I didn’t care if I did not play football again. In fact, it was one of the things that they told me could happen, but for me, it was the final of the World Cup. It was my final
I already knew that they wanted to sell me because it had been said that James Rodriguez was heading to Madrid, and he was going to take my position
When I got the letter from Real Madrid I could envisage everything. Without opening it, I ripped it up. I didn’t want to read it, or even look at it. The person who had to make the decision whether or not to play was me
2020 04 20 Retrieve
[Angel Di Maria told his friends about how he despised playing for Man Utd] I didn’t have a great relationship with the coach, so I think the decision to join Paris was the best solution. Life in England was a bit difficult. It is not easy for a South American. Some people get on fine, and for others it is harder to adapt. My family wasn’t happy. My daughter was suffering. So it was important to leave
2020 05 07 Retrieve
[Jorgelina Cardoso, has claimed that she never wanted her husband to make a move to Old Trafford] I remember Angel coming up and saying, ‘An offer from Manchester United has come in. Maybe we’ll be a little more financially secure…’. We fought about it. I told him, not a chance, he could go on his own. ‘No, come on. Let’s go’, he replied. There was a lot of money involved, and afterwards, the Spanish were calling us peseteros (people only interested in money). And they were right! If you are working for a company and the competition comes along and offers to pay you double, you take it! I didn’t want to go to Manchester because at that moment in time, I was friends with Gianinna Maradona, who was married to [Sergio] Aguero, and we flew from Madrid to his house in Manchester to pay him a visit for two or three days when Angel had a few days off at Real Madrid. It was horrible! All of it was horrible, we went to the house and we were like… ‘See you later guys, we’re out of here’. When we left, I said to him, ‘Go to any country - except England’. Anyway, one year later and there we were in England and it was horrible, a sh*thole.
I didn’t like anything about it, not a thing. The women are all skinny, prim and proper […] weird. You’re walking down the street and you don’t know if they’re going to kill you or what. The food’s disgusting. All the girls are all dolled up to the nines, perfectly made-up and there’s me with my hair in a bun and with no make-up on
2020 06 05 Retrieve
[Angel Di Maria says he is happy he did not join Barcelona when they tried to buy him from Paris Saint-Germain three years ago] I was very happy in Paris, but people at the club at the time told me some things, which turned out to be lies in the end. Barca tried to get me to come. The two clubs discussed it, but PSG did not want to sell me and it ended there. These lies annoyed me a lot but, in the end, not leaving was a good thing because I am very happy in Paris today
[The 32-year-old’s contract expires in 2021, but he hinted that he will extend his deal as he wants to see out the remainder of his career with PSG] I want to end my career in Europe with PSG is the only thing I want and have in mind. I’m happy here, my family is too. As for the rest, I don’t know for the moment. No discussions have been initiated and this is not my intention at this time. I want to focus on the field, the rest will come later
[His Champions League triumph came during his time at Real Madrid, but he hopes to claim the European crown with his current side before he departs] It would be amazing to win it again. Not only to win the trophy, but because of the affection I have for the club and for its supporters. I have the feeling that over the past two seasons, I have won the respect of the supporters. Mentally, it changed a lot when I felt that they encouraged me more, that they sang for me. It gave me a lot of strength, I try to thank them for what I do on the field. If I could bring them the Champions LEague before leaving, it would be perfect to end our story
2020 06 06 Retrieve
[Ligue 1 cancelled too soon for Di Maria as PSG star eyed all-time assist record] Like many, I think we rushed to make such a decision. From what we can see, France is today one of the countries where the health situation is the most favourable, and yet everything has been totally stopped for good. These are matters of politics and for doctors. We would have liked to finish the championship but decisions have been made and we must accept them. If they made this choice, it is because they first thought of the health and well-being of people, so that is fine with me
[On a personal note, the Argentine has been left to lament the timing of the stoppage] The past year has been incredible for me. When I think about, I say to my wife: ‘What bad luck that everything stopped’. I experienced a season without the slightest cloud, without injury, I played many good matches. Ending the season as the leading assist maker in Ligue 1 is a source of pride. I’ve always said it, I prefer to make a decisive pass than to score a goal. To tell you the truth, I even set myself the goal of beating the record for assists in a Ligue 1 season because I read that I was only four away [with 11 matches to play].
2020 06 07 Retrieve
[An easing of lockdown measures allowed the German Bundesliga resumed on May 18, with the Premier League and La Liga set to follow suit in England and Spain later this month. Di Maria doesn’t understand why France didn’t take the same approach] Like many, I think we rushed to make such a decision. From what we can see, France is today one of the countries where the health situation is the most favourable, and yet everything has been totally stopped for good