Angel DI MARIA’s letter, from humble beginnings to Argentina’s World Cup


The following is from The Players Tribune, by Angel DI MARIA. The original note can be read here.

I remember getting the letter from Real Madrid and tearing it up before I even opened it.

It was the morning of the 2014 World Cup Final, at exactly 11 a.m., and I was sitting on the trainer’s table about to get an injection in my leg. I had torn my thigh muscle in the quarterfinals, but with painkillers, I could run without feeling anything. I told our trainers these exact words: “If I break, then let me keep breaking. I don’t care. I just want to be able to play.”

So I was putting ice on my leg when our team doctor, Daniel Martínez, came into the room holding this envelope, and he said, “Look, Ángel, this paper came from Real Madrid.”

I said, “What are you talking about?”

He said, “Well, they’re saying you’re not in any condition to play. So they are forcing us to not let you play today.”

I immediately knew what was happening. Everybody had heard the rumors that Real wanted to sign James Rodríguez after the World Cup, and I knew that they were going to sell me to make room for him. So they didn’t want their asset to be damaged. It was that simple. That’s the business of football that people do not always see.

I told Daniel to give me the letter. I didn’t even open it. I just ripped it into pieces and said, “Throw it away. The one who decides here is me.”

I had not slept much the night before. Part of the reason was that the Brazilian fans were setting off huge fireworks outside of our hotel all night long, but even if it had been completely quiet, I don’t think I would’ve been able to sleep. It is impossible to explain the feeling you have on the night before a World Cup Final, when everything you ever dreamed about is right in front of your eyes.

I sincerely wanted to play that day even if it ended my career. But I also didn’t want to make things complicated for our team. So I woke up early that morning and went to see our manager, Mr. Sabella. We had a very close relationship, so if I told him that I wanted to start, I knew that he would feel the pressure to put me in. I told him sincerely, with my hand on my heart, that he should put in the player that he felt he had to put in.

I said, “If it’s me, it’s me. If it’s another, then it’s another. I just want to win the World Cup. If you call on me, I will play until I break.”

And then I started crying. I couldn’t help it. The moment had overwhelmed me.

When we had our team talk before the match, Sabella announced that Enzo Pérez was going to start, because he was 100% healthy. I was at peace with that decision. I treated myself with an injection before the match, and again during the second half, so that I would be ready to play if I was called from the bench.

But the call never came. We lost the World Cup, and I couldn’t control anything. It was the most difficult day of my life. After the match, the media were saying ugly things about why I didn’t play. But what I’m telling you is the absolute truth.

What still haunts me is the moment when I went to speak to Sabella, and I broke down in tears in front of him. Because I will always wonder if he thought that I was crying because I was nervous.

In truth, it had nothing to do with nerves. I was overcome with emotion because of how much the moment meant to me. We were so close to achieving the impossible dream.

The walls of our house were supposed to be white. But I never remember them being white. At first they were grey. Then they turned black from all the coal dust. My father was a coal worker, but not the kind in a mine. He actually made charcoal in the back of our house. Have you ever seen charcoal being made? The little bags you buy in the store for your barbeque, they come from somewhere, and honestly it’s a very dirty business. He used to work under this tin roof on our patio, bagging up all the pieces of charcoal to sell at the market. Well, it wasn’t just him. He had his little helpers, too. Before school, me and my little sister would wake up to help him. We were only like nine or 10 years old, which is the perfect age for bagging charcoal, because you can turn it into a little game. When the coal truck would come, we had to carry the bags through the living room and then out the front door, so our house basically turned black over time.

But that was the way that we put food on the table, and the way that my father had saved our house from being taken away.

See, for a little while, when I was a baby, my parents were doing well. But then my father had tried to do a good thing for someone, and it changed our lives. A friend asked him to sign as a guarantor for his house, and my dad trusted him. The guy ended up falling behind on his payments, and then he just disappeared one day. So the bank went straight to my father. He was stuck trying to pay for two houses, and feed his family.

His first business wasn’t actually charcoal. He had tried to turn the front room of our house into a little store. He would buy these big drums of bleach, chlorine, soap and all this cleaning stuff, and then he would divide it up into these little bottles of products and sell them out of our dining room. If you were living in our town, you didn’t go to the store to buy a bottle of CIF. That was way too expensive. You would just come see the Di Marias and my mom would sell you a bottle for a much better price.

It was all going pretty good until one day, their baby boy ruined everything by almost getting himself killed.

Yes, it’s true, I was a little son of a bitch!

I wasn’t really bad, but I just had so much energy. I was hyperactive. So one day my mom was selling in our “shop,” and I was in the walker playing around. The front gate was open so that the customers could come in, and my mom got distracted, and I started walking … I wanted to explore!

I walked right out into the middle of the street, and my mom had to sprint out to save me from being hit by a car. Apparently, it was pretty dramatic, from the way she tells it. That was the last day of The Di Maria’s Cleaning Shop. My mom told my dad that it was too dangerous, and we needed to find something else.

So that’s when he found out about this guy who would bring the coal trucks down from Santiago del Estero. But the funny thing is that we didn’t even have enough money to sell coal! My dad had to convince the guy to front him the first few shipments. So, whenever me or my sister wanted some candy or something, my dad loved to say, “I’m paying for two houses and a truck full of coal!”

I remember one day I was bagging up the charcoal with my dad, and it was really cold and raining. All we had was the tin roof over our heads. It was very hard. After a few hours, I got to go to school, where it was warm. My dad had to stay out there working, all day. Because if he didn’t sell that day, maybe we wouldn’t have enough to eat, seriously. But I remember thinking to myself, and sincerely believing it: At some point, everything is going to change for the good.

For this, I owe football everything.

Sometimes it pays off to be a little son of a bitch! I started football early, because I was driving my mother crazy. She actually took me to the doctor when I was four years old, and she said, “Doctor, he never stops running around. What do I do?”

And he was a good Argentine doctor, so of course he said, “What do you do? Football.”

So I started my football career.

I was obsessed. It’s all I did. I remember that I played so much football that every two months, my boots would literally break apart, and my mother would glue them together with POXI-ran, because we didn’t have the money to buy new ones. When I was seven years old, I must have been pretty good, because I scored 64 goals for my neighborhood team, and my mother came into my bedroom one day and said, “The radio station wants to talk to you.”

We went down to the station so they could interview me, and I was so shy that I could barely speak.

That year, my dad got a phone call from the youth coach of Rosario Central saying that they wanted me to play there. This was actually a very funny situation, because my father is a huge supporter of Newell’s Old Boys. My mother is the huge supporter of Central. If you’re not from Rosario, you can’t understand how passionate this rivalry is. It is like life and death. When the Classic was on, my mother and father would be screaming at the top of their lungs with every goal, and the winner would taunt the other one for a whole month about it.

So you can just imagine how excited my mom was when Central came calling for me.

My dad said, “Oh, I don’t know. It’s too far away. It’s nine kilometers! We don’t have a car! How will we get him there?”

And my mom said, “No, no, no! Don’t worry, I’ll take him! It’s no problem!”

And that is when Graciela was born.

Graciela was a rusty old yellow bicycle that my mother would use to drive me to training every day. It had a little basket in the front and a space for another person to sit in the back, but there was a problem, because my little sister had to come with us, too. So my father made this little wooden platform and attached it to the side of the bike, and that’s where my sister would sit.

So just imagine this: A woman biking through town with a little boy on the back and a little girl on the side, and a kit bag in the basket with my boots and some snacks. Up hills. Down hills. Through the dangerous neighborhoods. In the rain. In the cold. In the dark. It didn’t matter. My mother just kept pedaling.

Graciela got us where we needed to go.

But, the truth is that my time at Central was not easy. In fact, I would have quit football if it were not for my mother. Twice, in fact. When I was 15, I was still not growing, and I had a coach that was a bit nutty. He preferred players who were physical and aggressive, and that was just not my style. One day, I didn’t jump up for a header in the box, and at the end of training, he gathered all the players around and then he turned to me …

He said, “You’re a wussy. You’re a disgrace. You’re never going to amount to anything. You are going to be a failure.”

I was devastated. Before he even finished, I started crying in front of all my teammates, and I ran off the field.

When I got home, I went straight into my room to cry alone. My mother knew something was wrong, because every night when I got home from training, I would go and play more on the street. She came into my room and asked what was wrong, and I was sincerely afraid to tell her what really happened because I was worried she would bike all the way there and try to punch my coach. She was such a calm person, but if you did anything to her kids … Man! Start running!

I told her that I got into a fight, but she knew it was a lie. So she did what all mothers do in that situation — she called the mother of one of my teammates to find out the truth.

When she came back in the room, I was crying so much, and I told her that I wanted to quit playing football. The next day, I couldn’t even leave the house. I didn’t want to go to school. I was too humiliated. But then my mother sat down on my bed, and she said, “You’re going back, Ángel. You’re going back today. You need to go prove yourself to him.”

I went back to training that day, and the most incredible thing happened. My teammates didn’t make fun of me. They actually helped me. The ball would come into the air, and the defenders would let me win the header. They made sure that I was feeling good, and they really took care of me that day. Football is such a competitive game, especially in South America. Everyone is just trying to make it to a better life, you know? But I will always remember that day, because those teammates saw that I was suffering and they helped me.

Still, I was so small and so skinny. At 16, I still wasn’t in the senior team at Central, and my father was getting worried. We sat at the kitchen table one night, and he said, “You have three options: You can go to work with me. You can finish school. Or you can try one more year in football. But if it doesn’t work out, you have to come work with me.”

I didn’t say anything. It was a complicated situation. We needed money.

And then it was my mother who spoke up and said, “One more year in football.”

That was in January.

In December, the very last month … I made my debut for Central in the Primera División.

From that day, my sports life began. But in truth, the fight started so long before that. It started with my mother glueing my boots back together, and with her riding Graciela through the rain. Even when I made it as a professional in Argentina, it was still a fight. I don’t think people outside of South America can understand what it’s like. You have to live some of the experiences to believe it.

I will never forget when we had to play a Libertadores game in Colombia against Nacional, because air travel is not the same as in the Premier League or La Liga. It’s not even the same as when you play in Buenos Aires. Because back then, there was no international airport in Rosario. You showed up at the little airport, and whatever plane was there that day, you got on. You didn’t ask questions.

So we showed up for this flight to Colombia … and there was one of those huge cargo planes on the runway. You know the ones with the big ramp in the back that they use to ship cars and stuff? Well, that was our plane. I remember it was called “Hercules.”

The ramp came down, and the workers started loading all these mattresses into the plane.

And all the players were looking at one another like, What?

So we went to board the plane, and the workers were like, “No, guys, you go in the back. And here, take these headphones.”

They had to give us those huge military headphones to block out the noise. We climbed onto the platform, and there were a few seats and some mattresses for us to lie on. For eight hours. To a Libertadores match. They closed the ramp, and it got super dark. We were just lying there on the mattresses with our headphones on, and we can barely hear one another. The plane starts to take off, and we go sliding down the ramp a little bit, all the way to the back of the plane, and one of my teammates shouts, “Nobody touch the big red button! If that door opens, we’re all gone to shit!’

It was incredible. If you didn’t live it, you wouldn’t believe it. But you can ask my teammates. It really happened. That was our version of a private plane. Hercules!

Still, I look on that memory with a lot of happiness. When you’re trying to make it in football in Argentina, you have to do whatever it takes. Whatever plane shows up that day, you get on that plane, and you don’t ask questions.

Eventually, if you get the opportunity, you take the plane with a one-way ticket. For me, that opportunity was in Portugal with Benfica. Maybe some people look at my career and they think, “Wow, he went to Benfica, then Real Madrid, Manchester United, PSG,” and maybe it seems simple. But you can’t imagine how many things happened in between. When I got to Benfica, at age 19, I barely played for two seasons. My father gave up his job to move to Portugal with me, and he had to be separated by an ocean from my mother. There were nights when I heard him on the phone with my mom, and he was crying because he missed her so much.

At times, it seemed like a huge mistake. I wasn’t starting, and I wanted to quit and go back home.

Then the 2008 Olympics changed my whole life. Argentina called me to play for the team even though I wasn’t starting for Benfica. I will never forget that. That tournament gave me the opportunity to play with Leo Messi, the extraterrestrial, the genius. It was the most fun I’ve ever had playing football. All I had to do was run into space. I would start running, and the ball would arrive at my feet. Like magic.

Leo’s eyes don’t work like your eyes and my eyes work. They look side to side, like a human. But he’s also able to see the world from above, like a bird. I don’t understand how it’s possible.

We were able to make it all the way to the final against Nigeria, and it was probably the most incredible day of my life. To score the goal to win the gold medal for Argentina … you can’t even imagine that feeling.

You have to understand, I was 20 years old, and not even playing for Benfica. My family was separated. I was at a moment of hopelessness before Argentina called me for that tournament. In just two years, I won a gold medal, I started playing for Benfica, and then I got transfered to Real Madrid.

It was a moment of pride not just for me, but for my entire family and for all my friends and teammates who supported me over the years. They say that my father was an even better footballer than me, but he broke his knees when he was young, and his dream died. They say that my grandfather was even better than him, but he lost both of his legs in a train accident, and his dream died.

My dream was close to dying so many times.

But my father kept working under the tin roof … my mother kept pedaling … I kept running into space …

I don’t know if you believe in fate, but when I scored my first goal for Real Madrid, do you know the name of the team we were playing?

Hércules CF.

We came a long way.

So maybe you can understand now why I was crying in front of Sabella before the World Cup Final. I was not nervous. I was not worried about my career. I was not even worried about starting the match.

Hand on my heart, the truth is that I just wanted us to achieve our dream. I wanted us to be remembered as legends in our country. We were so close.…

That’s why it’s so heartbreaking to me when I see the reaction to our team in the media in Argentina. At times, the negativity and criticism is out of control. It is not healthy. We are all human beings, and we have things going on in our lives that people do not see.

In fact, just before the final qualifying games, I started seeing a psychologist. I was going through a difficult moment in my head, and usually I can rely on my family to get me through those times. But this time, the pressure was very intense with the national team, so I turned to a psychologist, and it really helped me. In the final two matches, I was much looser and more relaxed.

I reminded myself that I was part of one of the best teams in the world, and that I was playing for my country, living a dream I had as a child. Sometimes, as professionals, we can forget those simple facts.

The game became a game again.

I think that nowadays people look on Instagram or YouTube, and they see the results, but they don’t see the cost. They don’t know the journey. They see me holding my daughter and smiling with the Champions League trophy, and they think that everything is perfect. But they don’t know that just a year before the photo was taken, she was born premature and spent two months in the hospital, hooked up to tubes and wires.

Maybe they see a picture of me crying with the trophy, and they think that I’m crying because of football. But in reality, I am crying because my daughter is there in my arms to experience it with me.

They watch the World Cup Final, and all they see is a result.


But they don’t see how hard so many of us fought to get to that moment.

They don’t know about my living room walls turning from white to black.

They don’t know about my father working under a little tin roof.

They don’t know about my mother riding Graciela through the rain and the cold, for her children.

They don’t know about Hercules.


  1. Very inspiring. Tomorrow is your chance to write another beautiful and adding more touching story how the team get through the group stage and strike back to reach the world cup dreams. Don’t wasted your talent and play as this is your last game. May the divine hand bless you and the entire team.

  2. I have always thought di Maria was a solid player. Been amazed how RM manage to replace him and still have won the CL after 2014. He had so much pace and great crosses from different angles. I look forward to see him perform well. Always knew that if he was allowed to play on that final things would have been different we could have at least scored if not won.

  3. Oh my words what an article.I know every(almost) player will have a sob story but this just made my Albiceleste love flow and now from being so tensed about the next match now i am relaxed because I know they will try their best and if it doesnt work out it just didnt work out nothing more.And no i dont think this is a knee jerk reaction because i have been reading the players tribune for some time and it really puts everything into perspective.And even though our angel doesnt always make great decisions on the pitch,his decision to write this was one of his best

  4. Latest news:

    Enzo Perez is not fully fit. If he is not fit by tomorrow, Biglia will replace him in the starting line up. Mercado is confirmed.

    4-4-2: Armani; Mercado, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico; Mascherano, Banega, Perez/Biglia, Di Maria; Messi, Higuain.

    According to TYC, Di Maria will play on the right side. If that is the case, he will be closer to Messi.

  5. Wonderful read. Although i didn’t like his performance against Iceland because i thought he could have done much much better. He has exceptional talent. I think this match he will do something for sure

  6. For many years, this site has tried to “promote” Di Maria replacement with our amateur scouting report. These players are: Jose Sosa, Nico Gaitan, Roberto Perreyra, Alejandro Gomez, Marcos Acuna, and Maxi Meza.

    It is almost like we want everyone but Di Maria. Every small mistake (sometimes one bad pass) of Di Maria is being over hyped here during every match. Every small good thing of those players above will be discussed and praised thoroughly here. That’s how it works. It is almost like trying to bewitch the readers that Di Maria is bad and those players are good.

    But the question is where are those players now? Where is Sosa? Gaitan? Perreyra? And what’s happening to Gomez? One time I wrote an article of “Gaitan LOL” and people laughed. They think that Gaitan is better than Di Maria. I think Gaitan is a joke. Who is right now?

    Acuna and Meza are here, they both were among the starting 11 of one of the worst performance of Argentina in the World cup history. Some of those players above are fine, but they are just average. But here those players are super special and Di Maria is below average.

    Di Maria started his European career for Benfica. He was so good that Real Madrid bought him as a starter (not bench warmer). Just check out his number there. How many assist he got, what did Benfica achieve on his days. One time he had 4 assist in one game against Everton in a UEFA cup.

    That’s why I never believe the scouting report here. I have my own eyes and I watch A LOT of futbol games. Here we overrate our players the way English media does to English youngsters. Here the likes of Mammana is considered ‘world class’ by some. Look, he is talented. World class? Nope. Long way to go.

    I almost said nothing here for almost 4 years because of the level of exaggeration here. It is just too amateurish.

    Some of our young wingers have him as their role model such as Centurion or Cristian Espinoza.
    For a lot of you, you think that he makes a lot of bad passes/decisions, but I always see it in another way. He has tendencies to pass the ball to the dangerous areas/weak spot of the opponents. Those kinda passes work maybe 1/10 times but when it works, it is almost always an assist or at least a golden chance. That’s to explain why he was almost always among top assist leaders in the whole europe, BUT he almost always has very poor passing accuracy because that is his style.

    He never plays safe which is OK for me because he is not a DM. He is an attacking minded player. He needs to be given freedom to be him.

    I just want to remind you one thing, there is only one player other than Lionel Messi that had been among the FIFA team of the year in the last 20 years or more. That is Angel Di Maria. He deserves more respect.

  7. People need to be realistic here, Argentina don’t need to score 3-4 goals tomorrow in order to progress because I doubt park bus Iceland will defeat Croatia while trying to play attacking football, we all saw what happen against Nigeria when they decided to open up. I just want to see a well deserve professional winning display along with a clean sheet tomorrow. I would take 2-0 or 1-0 (while playing convincing football) over winning by 4-3 or 3-2 or 5-4 margin. The team doesn’t need to ”humiliate” Nigeria tomorrow in order to prove a point. Just go out on the pitch and be professionals, get the win and the job done and let’s move on. If the opportunity arose to score several other goals then by all means go for it! Let’s grow into the tournament tomorrow as a team; if Argentina win, their is a new beginning for the team, and the way how France have been playing, anything is possible in the round of 16 if the team progresses.

  8. Thanks for sharing Ãngel. I’m glad you shared and I read your life story. A truly humbling story and through it I can feel your dedication, desire and commitment to the cause. Thank you for not forgetting your roots, where you’ve come from and how diffcult it was. The way things stand, it will really take a miracle to repeat the feat and it simply makes the 2014 final an extremely bitter pill that no one can swallow and move on from even up till now. We should have gotten that freaking World Cup. :'(

  9. Much respect Angel DiMaria. No one would ever doubt your commitment for NT. The question is whether you still have the skills to make a difference. You got another chance, Good Luck!

  10. Well, where do I start?
    1) Mascherano is giving coaching advice. Where is the captain? Oh yeah, covering his tears.
    2) DiMaria sob story….glad things worked out for you pal, lets see if you can score a meaningful goal. I will even settle for a meaningful moment.
    3) why is this shit important on the eve of our most important game?
    4) Do any of our players have balls? Can’t they for ONCE in their life time just shut up and play?
    5) I for one will be glad to turn the page on all of these guys.

    As an FYI, EVERY ATHLETE ON THE PLANET HAS A SIMILAR STORY…Whether its Carlos Tevez, Lebron James, Ronaldo, Manu Ginobili, and the list goes on and on and on.

  11. Predicted starting 11 from croatian newspaper: L. Kalinic – Jedvaj, Corluka, Caleta-Car, Pivaric – Bradaric, Badelj – Pjaca, Kovacic, Perisic – Kramaric, 10 changes…

  12. I Think Banega and Higuain will play exceptionally good tommorrow.
    Higuain will try hard to compensate his misses in past and Banega was always passionate about world cup.If Messi in his magical mode then we will score 4 or 5 goals.Di maria looks good.
    Sampoli did not prepare players well for world cup.He thought only Messi is enough to reach quarter final he was right but he needs to win it right now.Sampoli broke my trust.

    • Let’s hope the old guard has one more good game in them for now to qualify for the last 16. After that, we can then regroup and press on for the dream. Vamos Argentina!

  13. I am surprised that many of you are surprised that Di Maria and all the players care, did you not think they cared?? they all care and they all want to win and they all want to do good and win the damn WC with Messi on top of them.


  14. No doubt Di maria is ultra talented in some magazines in PSG Di maria and Pastore are considerd more talented than Neymar.No doubt they are talented but inconsistent.
    Do maria I believe in you he should have been used against Croatia because Croatia did not park bus.May Di maria shine tomorrow.
    His life history is inspiring if he wins the world cup I think he deserves a biopic movie of his life.

  15. That is what so perplexing when you read this letter you know how much DiMaria cares about playing for the NT I guess he’s just overwelmed by the occasion like Messi sometimes and that’s why he underperforms

  16. Man it was very emotional latter that I have ever read. Treas in my eyes coz of this. Man I know I will give ur best tomorrow in order to win the match. Have faith on u and ur team. Argentina will win and u guys are in my prayers. Vamos Argentina…

  17. This article made me understand much more about Di Maria’s commitment to & passion for the national team. Each player may have his own story which we may not know of. Let’s not judge any more and let’s all just get behind the team; I believe this group of players still have it in them to succeed. We will fight as a team, players, coach, staff and fans. Vamos Argentina!

  18. Never doubted the guy’s dedication to the NT but his obvious absence of brain cells usage when the ball is at his feet warrants every bit of criticism directed towards him.
    I’m eternally thankful to all his hard work and contributions to the NT but based on his recent NT performances he had no business being on the bench let alone starting especially with the likes of Pavon and A.Correa being present.

  19. I took my car this morning to the tire shop to get a nail out and as soon as the tech walked up to my car and saw the two stickers on the back window, The Albiceleste crest and another underneath it with the ARGENTINIAN flag at a 45 degrees angle with a football across it he says, “Argentina, you guys are having a tough time, whats up with Messi, is he getting old, does not want to play” to which I responded we’ll get it done against Nigeria tomorrow.

    Yesterday at the gym, a good friend of mine said, “why you wearing that shirt man take it off, ARGENTINA is finished” I said NEVER, we’ll get it done Tuesday and move on.

    Another at the supermarket on Friday saw me with my ARG shirt and all he did was make a sad face and shook his head sideways, to which I just nodded my head……………never mind the many others itching to give me crap.

    WE ARGENTINA fans never surrender or give up or question our passion.

  20. “They don’t know about Hercules.” Wow, wow, this is one of the best biography I’ve read in some time. Stay STRONG Di Maria ,I never forget the 2008 Olympic final to this day!

  21. Playing a cry baby now… Has done nothing in football field…and now playing emotional card..such a retarded person…the so called friends group have achieved nothing and now blackmailing the whole country..

    • I really hope that after this wc and after messi and friend s retirement argentina will reach a final again.
      Don t be that guy who still believe that dybala and lo celso will cause they dont have the talent of this generation 87 88 people whom are always demanding for dybala let s have a look on what he accomplished with juventus in big games ??? Nada i put so much hope on him but he s not that guy he could attempt aimar or ortega s level but he doesn’t have this killer instinct he s not decisive maybe at futur but currently there is messi and if he want to prove that he s his equal he just have to put the ball on nigeria goal

  22. Di Maria!! I still believe he has ALOT to give for Argentina!!!! Him and Messi are 🔥!!! We need a competent coach to get the best out of him and the rest of these players!!!!

    Vamos Argentina!!!
    Vamos Messi, Di Maria, Aguero, Dybala!!!! Let’s get it done!!

  23. What Argentina is living right now is similar to France in WC 2006. Having a coach who has no plan and no clue. Messi and the senior players need to inspire from Zidane, take the responsibility. Just ignore what Sampaoli said and play the best football they can, do not stop running, fight for every ball and use their experience and instinct. I think Sampaoli lost totally his credit with the players, just like Domenech.

  24. Amazing article of the most hated player in Mundo Albiceleste community. It was shocking to see how much he loves Argentina. He would rather risk to end his career and won the World Cup than sitting down and not playing. Germany was extremely lucky that he wasn’t playing.

    He always earns my respects. For you he is a disgrace or headless chicken, for me he is one of the best wingers Argentina have ever had.

    He almost never disappointed in any crucial game, let’s see tomorrow. He just needs his coach total trust to be himself.

    • Agree mate. Fail to understand misguided ire against him. All this talk of putting this and that player from Argentina league over him. I will be honest, I dont follow the Argentine players from Argentina league at all. But. I follow flair players such as DiMaria wherever they play. Heck, I started watching boring MANU when he went there. There is a very good reason why some players make it to Europe. There is a whole bunch of people, organisation and system involved to ensure that not even a penny invested by a club, president or owner of the club is wasted. Economy always has a way to find the best talent. And as such, he’s clearly better than all the alternatives and the alternatives have done nothing since the last 6-7 years to change that view. They have been abysmal with rare show of quality and overhyped for that rare touch or moment of brilliance. I know my dig against Argentine clubs will not go well. But that is not far from truth for any of the top call footballing nations -Brazil, even Europena ones – e.g. Germany – Bundesliga struggles to keep its talent against RM and Barca, clearly the top 2 powerhouses for the last decade or so at least and against other top clubs. And they get poached because they are good as are the players from Argentina who are playing in Europe. That is not de-meaning at all for Argentina, rather that is a big praise – they have the system to produce en masse such good quality players. Only if they can produce a coach of half the quality who can field the best players together on the field. And how they missed it with one of a generation player in Messi.

    • DiMaria is very talented but absolutely inconsistent. The same with Banega. Hope these folks have a great game tomorrow. If that happens we will be through.

    • Not only higuain and palacio too !!!
      Angel you re talking about fate and you cloudn t have a better oportunity tomorrow you will face nigeria as 2008 with messi by your side ten years after for a little final game so guys don t miss it and especially don t mess with it
      God give you a last chance to show us that you really deserve to win 4 years ago
      So show us that all your family’s sacrifice and all your own sacrifices have a meaningful sens

  25. Great story. I doubt anyone’s undermining the hardship. People are frustrated with the relatively easier thing to do. Put the best fucking team on the pitch. its clear there is hardly any compatibility in the team. They have hardly played together much, made worse by that critical friendly miss before the WC. All the coach, Messi and Masch have to do is put all personal agenda and peer pressure to the bin and place the best starting 11 out there.

    • But even in this great story, what is in contrast with the European teams is that no one can say something like, since I was on good terms with the coach I could have influenced him to play me. This is the biggest problem in WC2018 squad I think. There are things outside footballing reasons dictating squad.

Comments are closed.