Di Maria was there against the Blues as usual in big games

Di Maria was there against the Blues as usual in big games

In tears after his goal, in tears on the bench when France overturned the match, and in tears at the end of the penalty shootout: Angel Di Maria cried a lot yesterday and it could not be otherwise. His story with Argentina was too strong not to stop in a torrent of emotions, after a final final which again offered him a major role.

At 34, the attacking midfielder of Juventus knew that he was living his 129th and final selection with the Albiceleste but he learned at the last moment that he was starting. “The players knew the team an hour and a half before the game and Angel knew he was playing on the left only then, explained coach Lionel Scaloni. We add that it could be played there and the majority of our situations came from this side. »

“You can’t explain the joy I feel, to share this with my family. »

Di Maria flourished there and he caused a penalty that he really went for (21st), being able to count on the referee’s benevolence from which his team benefited in Qatar. The debate is open but the beautiful but of the former Parisian (36th) makes everyone agree, and it is part of a glorious personal story.

Scorer in the 2008 Olympic Games final against Nigeria (1-0), scorer in the 2021 Copa America final against Brazil (1-0), he also scored in the 2022 Finalissima against Italy (3-0). If he hadn’t been injured, what would he have done in the 2014 World Cup final lost against Germany (0-1 ap)? He’ll never know and it’s a scar forever because he was willing to take any risk to play, in vain.

At the height of his happiness, he did not forget this frustration. “You can’t explain the joy I feel, to share this with my family, to be able to take revenge on 2014, he whispered yesterday. I have no words. » He had lost his legs when he was the first Argentine replaced in the 64th minute, due to a lack of rhythm.

Spared in the round of 16 due to muscle fatigue, he only played ten minutes in the quarter-finals and he had to stay on the bench in the semi-finals, never ceasing to dream of a return. “He always wanted to be present during the big meetings, and he was so happy to play another final, we named one of his relatives. But he is also very sad because it is the last time he will wear this shirt. » He will leave a void that is difficult to fill, and that was already the case yesterday: the start of Argentina’s problems coincided with his release.

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