Last season it was Mesut Ozil, this season it’s Angel Di Maria. Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has always been known for doing good business in the transfer market. Ridding the squad of Angel Di Maria was probably not one of his best bits of business. According to BBC Sport, Di Maria signed for Manchester United for a record 59.7 million pounds. Perez might have recovered what was spent on Toni Kroos and a fraction of the fee paid for James Rodriguez, but the squad lost much more.
Di Maria is one of the few players that can walk into just about any starting eleven in the world. A pacey, tricky winger who can cross the ball well and also finish. He has a great football IQ and reads the game well. Di Maria is a great passer of the ball with flair as well. Above all he had an excellent understanding of his teammates which is what allowed him to have so many assists. So why did Real Madrid decide he was dispensable?
Di Maria, surprisingly, is not the most commercial guy. Modern football is all about making money and teams always want the guys that can sell the shirts and promote the team the best as well as perform. Di Maria performs, there’s no question about that, but he’s not the ‘shiny new toy’ for Perez anymore. As a matter of fact he wasn’t the ‘shiny new toy’ when he signed back in 2010, it was Mesut Ozil after a stellar World Cup with Germany.
Both players became a big hit with the Real Madrid faithful and now both have been shown the boot. Maybe Di Maria can’t sell as many shirts as Ronaldo, but nobody expected him to. He performs every week and also has some amazing footwork. It had been coming, last season Bale’s arrival nudged him out the door and Rodriguez’s arrival pushed him out. Two of Perez’s ‘shiny toys’.
Di Maria reportedly asked for a wage increase over the summer. It was reported that he wasn’t even in the top ten earners on the squad’s payroll. For a guy that performs week after week, often better than some of the other players on the squad, he probably deserved the wage increase. Who exactly determines how much a player should earn is beyond me, but going solely based on merit, Di Maria may have deserved a little more. For whatever reason he may or may not have received it, but chances are he didn’t because he’s at United now.
Carlo Ancelotti most likely didn’t want Di Maria to leave. He utilized him late on in the first leg of the Spanish Supercup. Di Maria with his pace changed the game and helped Real mount the pressure on Atletico. The acquisitions of James and Bale have forced Ancelotti to start them ahead of Di Maria because of their price tag.
Di Maria doesn’t fit with Kroos, Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo, and James on the field. All good players and the Argentinian shouldn’t have to prove anything. He shouldn’t lose his spot for no just cause, but he did. He’s a starting eleven quality player which is why a move away from the Bernabeu was the best option for him even if neither party wanted to split up.
Di Maria never wanted to leave Real. In his open letter to the Real Madrid supporters he expresses that emphatically and why would he? He helped Real achieve La Decima, the most longed for trophy by the supporters and officials alike. Real Madrid’s loss is Manchester United’s gain.
Fact: Mesut Ozil, Real’s assist leader in 2012/2013, sold to Arsenal last summer. Angel Di Maria, Real’s assist leader in 2013/2014, sold to Manchester United this summer.