Juventus have officially signed Angel Di Maria on a free transfer.
The Argentine had been heavily linked with Barcelona and former club Benfica following the expiration of his deal with Paris Saint-Germain, however he reportedly ‘grew tired’ of waiting for the Catalan club to make an offer and jumped at the opportunity to join the Old Lady.
The terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed, although the Daily Mail have reported that he has been given a 12 month initial contract.
The iconic Italian giants of Turin will prove yet another incredible destination for the Argentine to play his football, after playing for arguably the biggest club in all of Portugal, Spain, England and France.
Di Maria’s rich history of clubs
It was Benfica who first brought Di Maria to Europe, signing him for a bargain £ 7.2 million fee from his hometown club Rosario in 2007.
He would spend three years in Portugal before making a dream switch to Real Madrid, where in the white of Los Blancos he would really leave his mark on European football.
Alongside greats like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Gareth Bale, Di Maria lifted two La Liga titles and the Champions League in his time in Spain.
But maybe more significantly, he also built a reputation as being one of the most exquisite creative forces on the planet, even beating Lionel Messi to the Argentina Player of the Year award in 2014.
A year later, he made the switch to England’s most famous club – Manchester United. And in doing so, entered what is almost certainly the worst phase of his career given how much of a disaster his time in red was.
He would leave Manchester after just a single season at the club, heading for the bright lights of Paris in a bid to reaffirm his damaged reputation as one of Europe’s best.
An impressive tally of 14 major titles across his seven years in the French capital makes for impressive reading and, whilst he’s never quite returned to the heights of his Madrid days, the 34-year-old heads to Turin knowing he’ll be a key figure in the Old Lady’s dressing room.
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Di Maria’s best teammate XI
It goes without saying that having spent his entire career at clubs of such magnitude, Di Maria has played with a large number of seriously impressive footballers – especially when you include teammates from the Argentine national set up.
Which begs that age old question which we all love, if you had to make an XI of the best to have played Di Maria, who makes the cut?
Well, Transfermarkt have had a fairly decent go at deciphering that topic and you can view their findings below.
GK – David De Gea
RB – Achraf Hakimi
CB – Raphael Varane
CB – David Luiz
LB – Marcelo
CDM – Casemiro
RAM – Lionel Messi
CAM – Paolo Dybabla
LAM – Neymar
ST – Cristiano Ronaldo
ST – Kylian Mbappe
Isn’t that up there with one of the best combined XI’s you’ve ever seen ?!
The team features who many perceive to be football’s two greatest ever players in Messi and Man Utd icon Ronaldo.
Two other current Man Utd stars also feature in De Gea and Varane.
Although, there is a glaring error that we feel needs highlighting.
In what world is Chelsea cult hero Luiz more qualified for this team than Sergio Ramos? The Spaniard is potentially the finest central defender of his era, so to exclude him for the notoriously reckless Luiz seems a more than dubious call.
Remove that from the equation, though, and you have to say that was a great attempt – hats off to you folks over at Transfermarkt for the effort.
Ballon d’Or quiz: Can you name the missing player?
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