Angel di Maria has praised Jose Mourinho as the best Coach he has ever played under, whilst saying fame has not changed him.
Speaking to El Espectador magazine, the Argentine international also gave his views on a number of other topics, including Lionel Messi, his new contract at the Bernabeu and playing for his country.
“Mourinho is the best Coach I’ve had in my career because he is very professional, supports you at all teams and teaches you things, which is vital for a professional footballer,” said Di Maria, who believes he is still the same person he was despite fame and riches.
“I don’t believe in fame one bit. I’m still the same little kid who played football in my district. Sure, I’m more experienced after playing in Europe for all these years, but I’m still as humble as I used to be.
“I try to be the same person on and off the pitch. I work hard so I am able to give everything when I go out on the pitch.”
Asked what has been the key to his progress from Rosario Central to Benfica then Real Madrid, the 24-year-old puts it down to confidence.
“Basically, its confidence. When you have continuity with your both your club and national team then it’s easier. Playing keeps your legs fresh. If things turn out well it makes you even keener to work and play.”
Di Maria has recently penned a deal with Los Blancos that will see him tied to the club until 2018, something he is clearly delighted about.
“It’s made me very happy I’m going to continue for many more years because it gives you peace of mind. After that I’ll see what I do. I’m sure that if I return to Argentina then it will be with Central.”
With Argentina currently topping the South American qualifying group for the 2014 World Cup, things are also going well internationally and Di Maria is enjoying playing alongside some of the other Argentine stars.
“I’m in good form and more mature now, with a World Cup under my belt and dreaming of doing better in the next one. Of course, I like playing with Messi, [Sergio] Aguero and [Gonzalo] Higuain. We’ve done it in the last few games and it’s produced good results.
“You have to respect the boss’s decision but if it was up to me I’d like to have three beasts like them up front and me playing a little behind them. I like to work together with Leo in the creative department and it helps me playing out wide, against the touchline, thinking about ‘pass and goal’.
“As for Messi he’s a phenomenon. What more can you say? It’s a pleasure to play with him. He always makes things easier for his teammates, making himself available and doing some marvellous things with the ball,” he concluded.