Real Madrid have rewarded Angel Di Maria with a contract extension that will see him tied to the Spanish champions until 2018.
The Argentine international, who joined Los Blancos from Benfica for a reported €25m in July 2010, was already under contract until 2016 and believes it is a return for the hard work he has put in since his arrival at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“I am really pleased and happy with the extension, which will allow me to continue at Real Madrid, and I know my contract was extended because of the work I am doing,” he told the club’s official website.
“I feel very supported and loved by the club and the fans. Little by little I’ve earned their confidence because when I came here I was told it wasn’t going to be easy to win them over.
“Thank God that through the work and sacrifice I have put into every single match I have earned that affection. I’m really happy.”
The 24-year-old believes his progress in the Spanish capital has been greatly influenced by having Jose Mourinho as his Coach.
“He is a big influence. He asked the club for me when I was at the World Cup and things were not going so well.
“A large part of what I’m doing now is thanks to him and I’m repaying him with the work I do every day.”
In addition, Di Maria believes he is a different person to the one that left Benfica.
“I’ve really changed a lot in all kinds of ways. In terms of football, and thanks to Mourinho, I’ve improved considerably.
“I’ve also improved personally because playing for Real Madrid is something very important.
“I’m fulfilling a dream I had as a young boy,” he concluded.