Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria hails the “power” of Spanish football.
Last summer both Mesut Ozil and Angel di Maria were linked with a move away from Real Madrid. The signings of Isco and Gareth Bale meant that the German and the Argentine were going to struggle for playing time.
In the end Ozil was let go for a reported transfer fee of £42.5 million to Arsenal, but Di Maria was kept on. Later Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti admitted that he was not fussed about losing the former but did not want to sell the ex-Benfica winger at any cost.
The Italian tactician’s faith in the 26-year-old paid off. Not only did the Argentina international make himself a first-team regular, he also proved to be Los Blancos’ most creative player (in terms of stats anyway). Di Maria ended up with 17 assists in 34 league appearances – the highest in the La Liga – and also scored four goals. In the Champions League, he has scored three times and provided five assists in eight starts, while netting on four occasions in the Copa del Rey.
And this is why it all appears a bit strange that Madrid would want to let him go. And now Di Maria himself has thrown a massive hint that he would not like to leave Spain because going anywhere else would be a step down.
‘I think a 'Spanish final' shows the development of Spanish football, the power which it has had in the last few years’, Goal.com quotes him as saying.
Di Maria is alluding to this Saturday’s Champions League final between Madrid and their city-rivals Atletico Madrid in Lisbon. It will be the first time since 2002 that Los Blancos will have featured in club’s football’s biggest game, and they will be keen to win it and clinch their 10th European crown.
Di Maria’s statements will come as a blow for Arsenal, who have been heavily linked with him. It has been reported that the Gunners are keen on landing the 26-year-old for next season, while Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and AS Monaco all are said to hold interest.
Things could change over the next few months and it is not unheard of players to leave their clubs despite a successful season. And since it is Madrid, they are not averse to selling off their key assets.
It promises to be an interesting summer.