Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria has reflected on his difficult spell with Manchester United last season, as he gears up to make his return to the Champions League.
Di Maria, who arrived at United last summer for a record breaking transfer from Real Madrid, had won the elite European competition the previous season only to find himself at a club who hadn’t even qualified for Europe. Di Maria has again moved on this summer, and will be expected to start against Malmo in PSG’s first group stage fixture.
The Argentine was speaking to French daily Le Parisien, and said: “Last season was tough for me. I didn’t play much and it was difficult watching the Champions League on television when I had won it the season before with Madrid.”
Di Maria opened up on various factors that forced him to switch clubs this summer, and even revealed he didn’t get on well with Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal. He listed a number of reasons ranging from difficulties in adapting to a new country to the break-in attempt into his house.
“Honestly, we were not happy. At the beginning, we were a little. But then things became complicated. Life in England was a bit difficult. It is not easy for a South American. Some people get on fine, and for others it is harder to adapt.
“I didn’t get on very well with the coach, so I think the decision to join Paris was the best solution. After [the break-in] it wasn’t reasonable to stay. My family wasn’t happy. My daughter was suffering. So it was important to leave,” he added.
Di Maria’s last kick of the ball in the Champions League came when he guided Real Madrid to La Decima in 2013/14, and also won the man of the match for his brilliant performance in the final.
The 27-year-old is back in the big league, and feels the emotion he felt during his time at Benfica is back, and is looking forward to playing in the Champions League.
“On Tuesday I will feel the same emotion as I have every time since my first match for Benfica. It is a magnificent competition,” said Di Maria.
In what will be another sub-plot in a series of sub-plots in the PSG-Malmo game which also includes star man Zlatan Ibrahimovic being pit against the club where he started his professional journey, Di Maria’s return to the Champions League will be a breath of fresh air for his fans and the player himself, after a year in the doldrums at Old Trafford.