Di Maria: Madrid different now

Angel Di Maria sees today’s Real Madrid as very different to the one he left in 2014 but expects a successful season regardless.

Di Maria has been interviewed by Marca about his time in Spain and the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder confirmed he never wanted to leave for Manchester United, then turned to current affairs at Santiago Bernabeu.

“Madrid are different. I think in the years I was there we had ups and downs. The last year was spectacular, winning La Decima,” he recalled.

“It’s quite different at PSG to playing under Carlo Ancelotti. With Carlo we had the ball but we were always looking to counter, due to the characteristics of the players.

“This style is more like Barcelona. To keep the ball more and play short, because we have the players to do so. It’s going well.

“PSG have the players to win the Champions League. You need that little bit of luck, and Madrid had it with Sergio Ramos’ goal. The team has the quality, but needs the luck.

“The pressure is a little less at PSG than Madrid. There is pressure to win the Champions League, starting with the President.

“All the players want it, everyone knows it’s not easy and you have to go game by game. People think we should win every game 5-0. They see it from the outside and think they know how it is, but it’s not like that.

“I’ve seen the criticism of Madrid for being defensive, but I don’t think they are. There’s a lot of talk because they don’t concede goals.

Sometimes in a game they might be defensive, because of circumstances, but Madrid will always be a big team fighting for everything and with the Coach or other player solving problems.

“Madrid are doing well and in the end it will be the same – Madrid or Barcelona [to win the League]. They’ll gradually pull away from the others.

“I think Barca lose a lot without Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, but the people who are left have responded well. You get used to having them on your team, so it’s difficult when they’re not.”

Di Maria was asked if he could now finally answer who he believes is the better player, Argentina colleague Messi or former Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, but remained diplomatic as ever.

“No! I always said they’re the two best players in the world because they are, in all sincerity, so they’re always sitting with the Ballon d’Or each year,” he replied.

“I don’t side with one or the other. They’re both the best.”

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