Angel Di Maria has revealed that he was once very close to joining Barcelona, so keen was he to play with Lionel Messi at club level as well as with the Argentine national team. Messi has since, of course, joined Di Maria at Paris Saint-Germain.
“If you saw the things he does in training, in practice,” Di Maria said of his compatriot in comments carried by Marca. “I was once very close to going to Barcelona, and I would have gone just to have played with him.
“When he came [to PSG] I was so happy, it was the best thing that’s ever happened to me, playing with him [at club level] is a dream I had, something unique. This kid is crazy, he’s insane. Seven Ballon d’Or awards is crazy, it’s half of his career and the rest they gave to others, but if it’s for the best player in the world they should have given it to him [every year].”
PSG are top of Ligue 1, eleven points clear of second-placed Marseille at the time of writing. They’re second in Champions League Group A, four points behind Manchester City. Di Maria has contributed three goals and three assists so far this term, while Messi has contributed four goals and three assists.
Born in Rosario, just like Messi, Di Maria came through the youth system at Rosario Central before heading to Europe to join Portuguese side Benfica. He spent three years in Lisbon before joining Real Madrid, staying at the Santiago Bernabeu for four seasons before a solitary campaign with Manchester United. He joined PSG in 2015. Di Maria has earned 118 caps with Argentina.