Ángel Di María

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This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Di María and the second or maternal family name is Hernández.
Ángel Di María
Di María cropped.jpg
Di María with Real Madrid in 2011
Personal information
Full name Ángel Fabián Di María Hernández
Date of birth (1988-02-14) 14 February 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth Rosario, Argentina
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Playing position Winger / Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Real Madrid
Number 22
Youth career
1995–2005 Rosario Central
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Rosario Central 35 (6)
2007–2010 Benfica 76 (7)
2010– Real Madrid 124 (22)
National team
2007 Argentina U20 13 (3)
2008 Argentina Olympic 6 (2)
2008– Argentina 52 (10)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:55, 17 May 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 5 July 2014

Ángel Fabián Di María Hernández (born 14 February 1988) is an Argentine professional footballer who currently plays for Real Madrid and the Argentine national team, as a winger or attacking midfielder.

After beginning his career with Rosario Central, Di María moved to Europe in 2007 to play for Benfica of Portugal, earning a €25 million move to Real Madrid three years later.

A full international for Argentina since 2008, Di María has earned over 50 caps for his country. He scored the goal which won the country gold at the 2008 Olympics, and has also represented them at two World Cups and the 2011 Copa América.

Club career

Early career

Born in the city of Rosario, Argentina and grew up with his family in the neighborhood Ceramics in the north of the city. His father, Miguel, was about to become a professional soccer player in River Plate. But suffered an injury before he can debut and moved away from the activity. Miguel worked in a coal for 16 years when Angel was small and this will helped assemble the bags of coal and to distribute that debuted in the first division, which would be known as DiMarian.

With only 4 years Di Maria was a very active child, and on the recommendation of a doctor began playing football at a nearby home club: El Torito at 6 years played a defining game to win a local league before Rosario Central where he scored 2 goals in the victory (one Olympic). Thanks to this meeting and their performances the club (he made 64 goals in a year) drew the attention of Ángel Tulio Zof who persuaded his family to spend to play Central.

In 1995 started playing baby football in Central Rosario and from small shared computer Nahuel Valentini, Milton Caraglio and Emiliano Vecchio and all were of the same category. In 2002 when he was old enough to ninth division debut in the tournament bottom of AFA, yet because of his physique participated in ninth, eighth and seventh division playing mainly in Rosario football League. Just in 2005 in sixth division had the opportunity to compete nationally with continuity in the same year he started training with my club team.

Rosario Central

Di Maria debuted in the first team Rosario Central to 2005 with only 17 years. The coach at that time, Don Ángel Tulio Zof made his debut in the 2-2 draw with Independente on the last date of Opening 2005. He joined 72 minutes with the number 37 on the back to replace Emiliano Vecchio.

Besides the local tournament, Central facing the Copa Libertadores in the first half of 2006. Angel made his international debut on February 9 in the 1-0 defeat against National Athletic in Colombia. He entered the game replacing Diego Calgaro 72 minutes he played three matches in the group stage of the tournament, always coming off the bench.

His second game in Primera Division was February 12 of 2006 by the fourth date of Clausura tournament to Lanús. The Rosario lost 2-0, however this would be the first game as a starter Angel during the rest of the tournament Di Maria always entered as a substitute parties. His first goal was scored in the Apertura of that same year, November 24 by the seventeenth date 4-2 victory to Quilmes.

During the Clausura 2007 Angel was consolidated into the team and played 18 of 19 games in the tournament, mostly as a starter. Although he had a regular tournament, Di Maria scored 5 goals and became the scorer of the championship. His last game in Rosario Central played it on June 16 of 2007 in the 3-1 defeat to Colón de Santa Fe (goal canaya Di María was scored).

In the Rosario club played in all 39 matches making 6 goals to June 2007 when he was transferred with his teammate Andrés Díaz to S.L. Benfica of Portugal by about 6 million euros (transfer was largely thanks to his performance in the World Cup 2007 U-20). Di Maria had been sought by Boca Juniors, which was offered by his signing the amount of $6,500,000 USA. in January 2007 had the opportunity to play in the Rubin Kazan of Russian, which initially agreed but changed his mind and turned down the offer.

Benfica

Di María with Benfica in 2007

Di María was transferred to Portuguese side Benfica in July 2007 where he played as a winger. Benfica paid Rosario Central €6 million for 80% of his sports rights and 50% of sports right of Andrés Díaz.[2] Later, in August 2008, the Portuguese club paid an extra €2 million for the remaining 20%,[3] but re-sold 10% to GestiFute.[4]

Di María was so highly regarded by Benfica that team president Luís Filipe Vieira, when presenting the young Argentine, told the club's supporters he had bought the perfect replacement for Benfica's departing captain, Simão, a talismanic figure for Benfica for over five seasons.

During the first months of his tenure in Lisbon, Di María showed that he was not in the least weighed down by the expectations, and the fans quickly took to the exciting talent.

Di María signed a new deal with Benfica in October 2009, adding three more years to his current deal, which was to last until 30 June 2015 with a €40 million minimum fee release.[5] Later that month, he was backed by Diego Maradona to become "Argentina's next superstar."[6]

On 27 February 2010, Di María scored his first hat trick in a classic 4–0 win against Leixões SC. The next day, he made the headlines as "Magic Tri María" in all sports newspapers in Portugal.[7]

Real Madrid

2010–11 season

On 28 June 2010, Real Madrid posted on their website that they had come to terms with Benfica for the transfer of Di María. He signed a five-year contract for €25 million, plus €11 million in incentives, as announced by the Portuguese Stock Exchange regulating entity.[8] On 7 July 2010, Di María arrived to Madrid directly from Buenos Aires,[9] and passed the medical test on 8 July.[10]

He made his debut on 4 August 2010 in a friendly match against Club América, which Real Madrid won 3–2.[11] On 22 August, Di María scored his first goal in another friendly against Hércules CF, which Real Madrid won 3–1.[12] In the last match of preseason, on 24 August, after an individual play described as a "magic moment", he opened the score of the 2–0 win against CA Peñarol, for the Santiago Bernabéu Trophy.[13]

His league debut came on 29 August, in a 0–0 draw against RCD Mallorca.[14] On 18 September, Di María scored his first league goal for Real Madrid in their 2–1 win over Real Sociedad.[15] Ten days later, he scored his first goal in the Champions League against AJ Auxerre, in a 1–0 victory.[16] He scored a controversial first goal against Sevilla FC on 19 December. Days later, Di María assisted Karim Benzema's two goals and Cristiano Ronaldo's goal in an astonishing 8–0 drubbing of Levante UD on 22 December. In the second leg of the Champions League last 16 round against Olympique Lyonnais, he scored the third and final goal in a 3–0 win to send Real Madrid through to the last eight for the first time in seven years.

Di María scored Real's third goal during their first-leg Champions League quarter-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur. On 20 April 2011, he was sent off in the 31st minute of extra time in the Copa del Rey final against rivals FC Barcelona. Real Madrid won the game 1–0, the lone goal of this game (in the 13th minute of extra time) being a header from Ronaldo, which came from his cross, thus obtaining his first honour with Real Madrid.

2011–12 season

During the start of the 2011–2012 season, Di María endured a tough series of matches as he struggled to adapt to the pace of the league following the summer break. As a result, Di María's early performance for the season were mixed with moments of genuinely good play interspersed with moments of sheer madness by the Argentine. This point was well illustrated during Real Madrid's 1–0 defeat to Levante, a match which saw a clearly out of sorts Di María commit a horror foul on Levante's Juanfran during the match. Di María caused the two teams to clash and an on-field incident ensued. After this, however, Di María's performances improved, including opening up a significant gap at the top of the assists table. From October 2011, Di María was being picked by José Mourinho ahead of Kaká and Mesut Özil, a sign of his improving form.[17]

On 27 November 2011, Di María played 60 minutes in a league game against city rivals Atlético Madrid, in which he scored a goal for Real Madrid. José Mourinho's team won the game 4–1. On 3 December 2011, Di Maria scored Real's first goal from a sharp angle in a 0–3 defeat of Sporting de Gijón in the La Liga. He was a constant threat and presence in the starting XI as Real Madrid won their 32nd league title.

2012–13 season

Ángel Di María taking a corner against Barcelona in April 2013

He scored his first goal of the season against Barcelona in the first leg of the 2012 Supercopa de España at Camp Nou after a mistake by Barcelona goalkeeper Víctor Valdés.

Although Di María didn't have the best season, he did contribute in big moments, most notably by sending in the cross for Cristiano Ronaldo's goal against Manchester United on 13 February,[18] in the league he provided quality assists, and scored 8 goals throughout the season in 46 appearances, notably against Atlético Madrid and Málaga C.F..

On 9 August 2012, Di María signed a new contract with Real Madrid, keeping him at the club until 2018.[19]

2013–14 season

On 2 October 2013, he scored two goals against Copenhagen in Real Madrid's 4–0 Champions League victory over them.[20] Di María was used in a midfield position with the arrival of new manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Later in the season due to managerial decisions by Ancelotti he switched his playing position permanently to an attacking central midfielder and was frequently seen in the starting lineup next to Luka Modrić and Xabi Alonso. He contributed to the club's 2–1 victory over FC Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey Final with the opening goal.[21] Di María was the top assist maker in La Liga for the season, contributing 17.[22]

On 24 May 2014, in 2014 UEFA Champions League Final, his shot was saved by Thibaut Courtois in extra time of the , but teammate Gareth Bale was there to head the rebound into the net in the 110th minute, giving Real Madrid a 2–1 lead over city rivals Atlético Madrid in an eventual 4–1 win. Di María was named man of the match by UEFA after the game, and was presented with the honour by Alex Ferguson.[23]

International career

Youth

Ángel Di María (left) and Raul Meireles (right) in a friendly match between Argentina and Portugal, on 9 February 2011.

In 2007, Di María was picked to play for the Argentina Under-20 squad. He was capped for the 2007 South American Youth Championship in Paraguay. In 2007, he was called up for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada. They went on to win the tournament with Di María scoring three goals in the process.

On 28 January 2008, Di María and some of his U-20 teammates were called up for the Argentina squad for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He scored the extra-time game-winning goal on a pass from Lionel Messi in the 105th minute of his team's 2–1 quarter-final win over the Netherlands. On 23 August, Di María scored the game-winner, a chip over the keeper from the edge of the area in the 57th minute of Argentina's 1–0 victory against Nigeria to capture their second straight Olympic Gold Medal in the final game of the Olympic tournament.[24]

Senior

On 6 September 2008, Di María made his debut for the Argentina senior team in a match against Paraguay.[25]

2010 FIFA World Cup

Di María was chosen as one of Argentina's 23 players for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, in which they reached the quarter-finals.

On 11 August 2010, he scored the first ever international goal at Dublin's new Aviva Stadium in a friendly against Ireland with Argentina winning 1–0.[26]

2014 FIFA World Cup

Di María made 12 appearances during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign[25] and was named in Argentina's squad for the tournament finals.[27] In Argentina's round of 16 match against Switzerland, Di María scored the only goal of the game after 118 minutes.[28] During the quarter-final match against Belgium, Di María suffered a muscle tear in the thigh and was later taken off the field. It was later announced after the match, that Di María would miss the rest of the tournament due to the injury; Argentina finished the tournament as runners-up to Germany.

On 11 July, Di María was named on the 10-man shortlist for FIFA's Golden Ball award for the tournament's best player.[29]

Career statistics

Club

As of 19 August 2014[30]
Club Season League Cup1 League Cup Continental Other2 Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Rosario Central 200506 10 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 14 0
200607 25 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 25 6
Total 35 6 0 0 4 0 0 0 39 6
Benfica 2007–08 26 0 5 0 3 0 10 1 0 0 44 1
2008–09 24 2 0 0 5 1 5 1 0 0 34 4
2009–10 26 5 1 0 4 1 14 4 0 0 45 10
Total 76 7 6 0 12 2 29 6 0 0 123 15
Real Madrid 2010–11 35 6 8 0 10 3 0 0 53 9
2011–12 23 5 2 0 7 2 0 0 32 7
2012–13 32 7 9 2 11 0 0 0 52 9
2013–14 34 4 7 4 11 3 0 0 52 11
2014–15 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 124 22 27 6 39 8 0 0 190 36
Career total 235 35 33 6 12 2 72 14 0 0 352 57
1Includes other competitions, such as the Supercopa de España.
2 Includes UEFA Supercup and FIFA Club World Cup.

International