What Louis van Gaal said about Man Utd flop Angel Di Maria failing at Old Trafford
Manchester United broke the British transfer record when they signed Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid in 2014 but the Argentine only lasted one season at Old Trafford under boss Louis van Gaal.
The Dutch coach had high expectations for the Di Maria when United paid £59.7million to Real Madrid to sign the winger.
Van Gaal initially described Di Maria as “a world-class midfielder” who is “most importantly he is a team player”.
Di Maria made a bright start to his United career, scoring three goals and providing three assists in his first five Premier League appearances, but performances quickly nose-dived.
In a recent interview on Spanish TV show Los Angeles de la Manana, Di Maria’ wife Jorgelina Cardoso listed all the things she hated in Manchester during her husband’s unsuccessful stint at the club.
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“I begged Angel, any place but England,” she said. “And one year later we were in Manchester, s***.
“I didn’t like anything at all. The people were all skinny, neat, weird. You are walking and you don’t know if they are going to kill you or not.”
Di Maria finished the season with four goals and 12 assists in 32 appearances and was promptly sold to Paris Saint-Germain.
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Then the war of words between the player and Van Gaal began.
The winger blamed Van Gaal for failing at United because he picked him in the wrong positions, while the Dutch coach insisted the player couldn’t handle the pressure of playing in the Premier League.
“Di Maria says it was my problem,” Van Gaal said.
“I played him in every attacking position. You can check that.
“He never convinced me in any of those positions.
“He could not deal with the continuous pressure on the ball in the Premier League.
“That was his problem.”
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United finished fourth in the league in Van Gaal’s first campaign but only lasted one more season at United as a fifth-place finish saw him sacked and replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Di Maria took this opportunity to have a dig at his former boss and claimed Van Gaal didn’t use him properly during his time at the club.
“I started a game in one position then the next game in another,” Di Maria said in 2016.
“I scored goals playing in one position, then suddenly the next game I was picked to play in a different position.
However, he didn’t stop there and went on to say: “It’s not nice to say certain things, but it’s more that they didn’t let me settle properly than I couldn’t settle.
“I left and that team are still playing the same way. Out of the European competitions, far from being champions of the Premier League.
“So I decided to leave, not only to be happy but to win things.”
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