Clubs, Real Madrid

Why sell an Angel?

A couple months ago I wrote an article with a poll question that asked readers who Di Maria pic for blogthey thought to be Real’s most valuable player this past year, obviously Cristiano Ronaldo won, but, Angel Di Maria ran away with second place – you can check out that article and poll question here.

Anyways, this brings me to the point of this article, and a question – why in the world is Angel Di Maria so undervalued by Real Madrid? I angrily ask this question because I think he’s been so integral to Real’s success this year. Not only did his run against Atletico set up Gareth Bale’s game winning header in the Champions Cup final, but, Di Maria also proved invaluable to the successes of Argentina at this past summer’s World Cup. He’s truly been solid all year, and I think he deserves much more respect and praise than he’s been given.

Di Maria and RonaldoFurthermore, why would Real sell a player that Cristiano told them to keep last summer? Clearly then, Ronaldo knew of how talented Di Maria was then, and that he could blossom even more over this past year…. It seems ridiculous that Real would sell him after such great form last year. When assessing Real’s transfers this past summer, I’m of the opinion that Di Maria is far more talented than James Rodríguez. I understand that James performed well at the World Cup, but I don’t believe that that merits Di Maria’s starting role. While I do think that it would be terrible for James not to start for Real this year, I also think that if I had to make a choice between Di Maria and James, I would pick Di Maria in a heartbeat, especially as he’s already used to King Carlo’s system of play.

With that said, if Real do sell him to PSG or Man United, and they don’t have a great campaign this year, Real’s management will take more slack than they would if they decided not to sell him. Moreover, I find it truly bothersome when the forces that be (management) take something that works, and try to make it better; in the footballing world management should adhere to this one old adage,  if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it (or attempt to make it better)…

But back to Di Maria… His importance goes way beyond just his talent… He’s proven Messi and Di Mariahis ability to play well with the two best players in the world, with Ronaldo on Real, and Messi on Argentina. And, more importantly, he’s won their respect – which is an extremely difficult thing to do considering their God-like standard of play. The footballing gods that they are, have played well with their Angel, and Real’s management need to respect him more than they are by squashing transfer rumors and not even letting them begin.

From Di Maria’s perspective, I understand his desire to leave Real… I would also want to leave if my club’s management didn’t appreciate my efforts. Plus, considering that he’s at the pinnacle of his career, it’d make sense for him financially to make a big money move to a club like PSG and cash out… especially as his salary isn’t even remotely close to that of Gareth Bale’s.. Di Maria makes 3 million euros to Bale’s annual haul of 10 million… Which to me seem very ridiculous.

In review, it makes sense for Di Maria to want to leave, but, it doesn’t make sense for Real to want to sell him. Let me know in the comments section if you agree with my assessments or not!

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4 thoughts on “Why sell an Angel?

  1. Luis El Hondureno says:

    I voted for Di Maria to stay, but I think the author has got it all wrong (at least most of it). First, yes, Di Maria feels disrespected…true. Where the author goes wrong is why. It’s not only an issue of making top dollar, it’s an issue of on field positioning. Di Maria wants to play winger opposite Ronaldo. It so happens that position is covered by Gareth Bale, a player who not only cost over US$100 million, but also scored more goals than anybody not called Ronaldo and was second in assists behind Di Maria. Di Maria is not a goal scorer, Bale is. And even though I believe Di Maria is an excellent player, Real Madrid is better served with the Welshman platooning the right flank. King Carlo did an extraordinary job of finding a position for him, that of interior left midfielder in the 4-3-3. Real Madrid is better served with Di Maria as the box to box midfielder King Carlo turned him into. Di Maria does not feel the same way.
    Second, the author wants to make it a James or Di Maria conundrum. James plays the #10 position. James does play winger, or box to box midfielder. Never has, never will…at least successfully. Di Maria’s position will be covered by Toni Kroos. Di Maria’s departure is why Real Madrid is bringing the German midfielder maestro, not why they are bringing James. James is coming to Chamartin to meet Florentino’s need to bring a media superstar every summer and to feed the president’s ego. To compare James to Di Maria is unfair.
    The truth of the matter is Di Maria wants out, hell, he wanted out last winter. He has said so, has demonstrated it with questionable antics, his wife has said so via social media.
    Again, I voted for Di Maria to stay, but it’s terrible locker room dynamics to have a guy that does not want to be there. He will be missed, but I think he will also miss playing with the best of the best…Ozil can tell you.

  2. Luis El Hondureno says:

    I wrote in the reply “James does play winger or box to box midfielder…” It SHOULD read “James does NOT play winger…”

    • Hi Luis,

      Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it!

      I agree with a lot of your comment, but disagree with your analysis of Kroos in Di Maria’s position. I don’t believe he is remotely able to replace Di Maria in his role… I wrote why in my post from last week (https://soccerdice.net/2014/07/17/real-madrid-going-for-a-kroos/) but I’ll summarize…

      Kroos isn’t a player that can slash through players with his dribbling and speed as Di Maria is capable of – and I truly believe that it would be a shame if someone with us much flair as him were to leave their starting lineup for that reason. It’s tricky for defenses to deal with a player like Di Maria in that position because he’s so fast paced and technically skilled…

      In other words, Kroos is an incredible player, but he’s meant to play in Modric’s role (slightly behind Di Maria, and in front of Xabi Alonso). If Kroos were to play in Di Maria’s position, I think a huge flaw in Carlo’s system would be created… Here’s why: As you said, Carlo smartly fit Di Maria in his system, and his tactics work because Modric and Xabi are able to play the ball to the speedier Di Maria, Ronaldo, and Bale (and Benzema) and let them do the work… Kroos had a similar role at Bayern, he played the ball to Robben, Muller, Ribery etc… He never had the ball played to him and doesn’t possess the speed, dribble, creativity to work well up front with the BBC… On the other hand, Di Maria does supports them well because he attributes that Kroos does not.

      I think you’ll find that if Kroos were to take Di Maria’s role, he will be disruptive to Real’s offense this year. For example, it’ll be a lot like when Zlatan joined Barca, and disrupted their style of play (and that’s why they got rid of him).

      On your point about James Rodríguez, I just think that he’d be better suited in Di Maria’s current role than Kroos. I know James doesn’t play box to box or winger, although his skill set is more suited to the needs of that role in Carlo’s system.

      Lastly, I know you mentioned that you don’t think it’s a lot about salary, but for a player of Di Maria’s quality (and especially after his successes this year on both club and international level), I’m sure he wants to make a bigger paycheck. In fact, he deserves it, and if there’s a time for him to cash in, it’s right now.

      Let me know what you think of all these thoughts when you get the chance! And thanks again for your comment!

  3. Pingback: Arsenal should buy Di Maria | soccerdice

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