Kolkata: Diego Maradona’s Argentina went into the 2010 FIFA World Cup as one of the favourites to win the title. And they had a reason to be as the side boast names like Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and many more. Angel Di Maria was one of them — a lanky 22-year-old winger, who had pace coupled with terrific skills and a killer eye for goals.
Even though Argentina lost to Germany in the quarterfinals, Di Maria’s good performance fetched him to a big-money move with Real Madrid came calling. The then manager Josè Mourinho included him in a new-generation Galacticos. On his arrival in Madrid, Di Maria met big names like Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso, Kàka, Mesut Ozil, Pepe, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.
It was like a dream come true for the Argentinean. While he played alongside Messi in the national t-shirt he was Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammate in his club thus making him one of those few players who has been a part of witnessing this greatness.
After four seasons of regular success and winning every major trophy Di Maria parted ways with Real Madrid moved to England to Manchester United. In the summer of 2014, fresh from a World Cup final defeat, Di Maria was welcomed with jersey no.7 which was previously owned by Ronaldo, David Beckham and Eric Cantona. He had a good season in United as he played with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Parse, Radamel Falcao and others under manager Louis Van Gaal.
Despite coming fourth in the Champions League the football season, Di Maria left England to join the French giants Paris St Germain. His departure affected United badly as they failed in the group stages of the Champions League and came fifth in the Premier League. But our Angel was living his life, now he had a Zlatan Ibrahimovic as his teammate.
This was a big-money move for the Argentinean and his life as a journeyman is now settling. In five years Di Maria has won 14 trophies in Paris with prolific numbers. But why do we are considering him as the ‘Lucky Angel?’ It’s because the players with whom he has shared the dressing room.
Di Maria is the only player to play alongside Messi, Ronaldo, Zlatan, Rooney, Kàka, Luka Modric, Aguero, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe. We can all understand when he will retire as a professional footballer he can reminisce his football careers with so many big names beside him. He is the only player to play with the last four Ballon d’or Winners namely Messi, Ronaldo, Modric and Kàka. Ecstatic yes? No doubt it is. He is a prolific team player and a man who is easy to handle. He is our ‘Lucky Angel’ and will always remain.