• Premier League

Di Maria ready to put Madrid memories behind him

ESPN staff
September 4, 2014
Angel Di Maria was in devestating form for Argentina against Germany on Wednesday © Getty Images

Angel Di Maria has insisted he does not hold any grudges towards Real Madrid after the club sold him to Manchester United.

Di Maria moved to United last month for a British-record £59.7 million after Madrid spent the summer bringing in high-profile stars such as James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, leaving some to question where Di Maria would fit into the Spanish giants' new-look attack.

And after leaving the Bernabeu, Di Maria wrote an open letter to the club's fans in which he suggested he was reluctant to move.

"[Madrid] always wanted to pin the idea of leaving the club on me, but that's not how it was," he wrote, rejecting claims that he had made excessive salary demands in negotiations over a new contract.

Di Maria's father spoke more forcefully after his son's move, claiming Madrid failed to recognise the attacker's talents.

"My son was never appreciated [at Madrid]," Miguel Di Maria said. "It was like they did not want him at the club, they never showed affection.

"Real Madrid never offered a £4.6m a season salary to my son. The last proposal was £4m, which represented only a million and a half more than the salary he was receiving."

But when asked if he was still upset with Madrid president Florentino Perez for pushing him out of the door at the Bernabeu, Di Maria insisted he had left that stage of his career behind him.

"That is done now," Di Maria said. "Now I am at a very big club, very happy with everything. I am going to work to begin adapting to English football, to my teammates, and what the coach wants."

Di Maria was speaking after he had almost single-handedly driven Argentina to a 4-2 revenge win over World Champions Germany on Wednesday evening.

He destroyed the German defence, laying on goals for Sergio Aguero, Erik Lamela and Fede Fernandez, before scoring the fourth himself with a superb solo effort.

Afterwards, Di Maria told Argentine newspaper Ole that the real positive had been a good team performance in the first game under new coach Gerardo Martino.

"My game?," Di Maria said. "No, it was about the work of everyone. The most important thing was not to win, but to make a good impression in the first game of a new cycle. And I believe we did that well.

"We wanted to press up front and take them on as the coach asked us. I am leaving happy as I played a good game."

Di Maria missed last summer's World Cup final between the two countries through injury, having earlier been one of Argentina's best players in the tournament.

Asked whether the decider in Rio de Janeiro might have played out differently if he had been fit, Di Maria said he refused to dwell on the past.

"It never came into my head what would have happened," he said. "These are things that happen in football … sometimes it goes for you and other times no. That game went for them. That is it.

"We must think that we left Argentina in a very high place, and we must keep ourselves up there. There is just one step left for us, and hopefully we can make that."

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