What a memorable spell it’s been at Paris Saint-Germain for Angel Di Maria.
The Argentine winger must have worried he’d never find a loving home like the one he enjoyed at Real Madrid, but he’s put his Manchester United nightmares behind him to become an adopted Parisian in the French capital.
With over five years of service already in the bank, Di Maria has been rewarded with a contract running until the end of the 2022 season – so what better way to celebrate PSG renewing their faith in him than by running through his best moments in blue and red.
Buckle up and enjoy, here’s 90min‘s picks.
It’s not easy to settle into a super club like PSG, so first impressions are everything. How about this one, then? Di Maria took to France like a duck to water, playing a key role in Les Parisiens’ amazing domestic quadruple.
He scored the winning goal in the Coupe de la Ligue final, and ended the 2015/16 season with an incredible 18 assists. That, as it happens, was the most recorded in a single campaign in Ligue 1 history.
A fan favourite, and every teammate’s superhero.
This should be one of Di Maria’s happiest memories. I mean, what could be bitter about scoring a brace in a 4-0 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League?
Remontada aside, this was an inspirational night of football in France. The Argentine was on fire, bending an incredible free-kick over the wall, and then hitting an even more spectacular strike into the top corner from outside the box.
It should have been the moment PSG announced themselves as a serious Champions League contender – but we all remember what happened next…
There was no love lost between Di Maria and the city of Manchester upon his departure, and supporters were excited to give him a boisterous welcome back when the two sides went head to head in February 2019.
The Red Devils booed and jeered their ex-superstar for the entire 90 minutes, but it was PSG who got the last laugh, when Di Maria assisted Mbappe for their second in a 2-0 win.
Still, I can’t quite remember what happened in the second leg of that game… neither can Angel, I imagine.
It’s always a special occasion when Marseille roll into town, and for the people of France, Le Classique is a must-watch game in the football calendar.
So, it was only fitting that Di Maria scored one of the best free-kicks you’ll ever see in this fixture back in March 2019, whipping the ball into the top corner from all of 30 yards.
It was so good, even he looked surprised and didn’t really know which celebration to pull out of the bag. So, so good.
Speaking of great goals, Di Maria was at it again in 2019, when he produced this delightful little lob against Nice to stun all of Europe with its elegance.
Racing onto a clipped ball over the top, he found himself running out of space, catching up with the pass while standing level with the six-yard box.
Somehow, he waved his magic left foot in its direction, and the ball floated beautifully over the goalkeeper, bouncing once and dropping into the net. A true artist.
Di Maria seeking revenge against former employers appears to be a regular pattern here, doesn’t it? He will have taken great personal satisfaction from this one, when PSG entertained Madrid at the Parc des Princes.
He tucked away his first in clinical fashion, racing into the box to latch onto a cross, and poking the ball into the near post in the blink of an eye.
The second was vintage ADM, picking up possession on the edge of the area, and curling an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net. No stopping him when he’s in that kind of form.
After those repeated heartaches in the Champions League, it looked as if PSG had finally cracked it in 2020. The French champions overcame Madrid in the group stages, squeezed past Atalanta and dismantled RB Leipzig to reach the final.
Di Maria was instrumental in their passage to the big finale, scoring and providing two assists in their 3-0 victory over the German side. Unfortunately, PSG fell short at the final hurdle, losing to Bayern in the final.
What might have been.
When you’re third in a list behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, you’re basically first in terms of actual humans. And in 2020, Di Maria put himself in the conversation of ‘best of the rest’, after sneaking into third place in the list of the Champions League’s top assisters.
The winger overtook Ryan Giggs with a pair of assists against Istanbul Basaksehir in December 2020, taking his tally up to 32.
He must be eyeing his place at the summit of that podium over the next couple of years.