Di Maria v Ronaldo: Who's had the best start to the season?

Cristiano Ronaldo Goal

Comparing Manchester United star Angel Di Maria with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

There is no doubt that Manchester United's club-record signing Angel Di Maria has gone a long way to lifting the gloom that fell heavy over Old Trafford last season.

The Argentine international arrived in the summer for a huge £59.7million from Real Madrid, and he took little time to settle in, scoring two goals in his opening four matches and leading his new side on some wonderfully swift counter-attacks that hark back to the days of Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs in his pomp.

But how does Di Maria's early season form compare with that of the Portuguese international?

Despite the United player's fine displays so far, it no contest when it comes to a comparison with Ronaldo over the same time-frame.  Even if you discount the Madrid star's performances in the Champions League his domestic form still far outshines that of Di Maria.

Ronaldo has a remarkable 10 La Liga goals in just five matches, compared with two in four for his former Bernabeu  teammate.  In total, the older of the two has 12 goals to his name already.

However, the Argentine does have more assists and has a higher proportion of key passes per match, while he goes on considerably more dribbles per game with his five far surpassing Ronaldo's 1.4.

  GoalsGoal AssistKey Passes per gameScoring attempts per gameDribbles per gamePassing AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Ángel Di María 2 2 2.75 2 5 79% 4 317
Cristiano Ronaldo 12 1 2.1 6.4 1.4 84.6% 7 630

Ronaldo averages more than three times as many efforts on goal per match as Di Maria, and his passing accuracy of 84.6 per cent is higher than the United man's 79 per cent.

Overall the Real star has played almost twice as many minutes as Di Maria, who is also still getting used to his new surroundings.  But in truth Ronaldo is on another level to every other player in the game right now, and Di Maria being some way behind him does not mean United have signed a dud.

Far from it: Louis van Gaal has brought in a truly world-class talent who is set to light up Old Trafford for years to come.

The only question is: Could Ronaldo one day reunite with him and his former side?

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch