Ángel di María – ‘El Fideo’ will be missed

Angel di Maria

In 2003 Claude Makélelé, who was the brain behind Real Madrid’s midfield set up, signed for Chelsea. Florentino Pérez commented at the time that;

We will not miss Makélelé. His technique is average, he lacks the speed and skill to take the ball past opponents, and ninety percent of his distribution either goes backwards or sideways. He wasn’t a header of the ball, and he rarely passed the ball more than three metres. Younger players will arrive who will cause Makélelé to be forgotten.

The decision was miscalculated, and it proved again why Pérez is a Real Madrid president and not a football manager. Makélelé was greatly missed. With all of the money and ability to buy any player in the world, the Galacticos suffered a great deal without Makélelé. Beckham arrived from Manchester United, but even with all of his shirt sales and popularity off the field, Beckham wasn’t Makélelé. This is why Zinedine Zidane said at the time, “Why put another layer of gold paint on the Bentley when you are losing the entire engine?”, to explain how Makélelé was missed in Real Madrid’s midfield and replaced by British superstar Beckham.

It seems like Pérez never learned his lesson when it comes to recruiting and letting players go. Anyone who watched Barcelona vs. Real Madrid last season will agree that the effort, sweat, and threat on the field came from Ángel di María. Analysis from the 2014 UEFA Champions League final shows that Atlético Madrid suffered from constant threats from Di Maria, and it’s fair to say he was highly influential on that memorable night. Without a doubt, we can all agree that Di María is a big game player who can deliver on world class stages. After Real Madrid’s Supercopa game with closest rival Atlético Madrid last week, Diego Simeone told the media that the game changed with the introduction of Di María. “It’s logical,” he said, “he is the best player they have”.

Ángel di MaríaIf rumours are to be believed, Cristiano Ronaldo personally asked the club not to sell Ángel Di María last season. This makes sense, because as much as Ronaldo knows that he is one of the best, he needs a provider like Di María to reach the number of goals he normally produces during the course of a season.

So why has Di María been on the market since last summer? No one apart from Carlo Ancelotti and Florentino Pérez seems to understand. El Fideo has done everything that Real Madrid asked of him. Simply put, El Fideo was the most outstanding player in Real Madrid last season. Skilled and committed in every game, Di María was the nightmare for Barcelona and Atlético Madrid every time he met them on the pitch. His next destination was believed to be Paris Saint-Germain until PSG realized that they needed to balance their books and stop no sense spending, at which point the Di María deal went dead.

This week, Di María finally signed for Manchester United. It doesn’t make any sense for an outstanding player who has a chance to play in the Champions League with Real Madrid to make a move to Manchester United now as United is in the building stage again. From the letter Di María addressed to the fans he explained clearly that it wasn’t his wishes to leave Madrid. Make no mistake Madrid will miss Di María and Champions league will miss Di María. It’s fair to say this is a bad move for Los Merengues and the one that will hold them back. Atlético Madrid and Barcelona will be happy to see the back of Ángel Di María in La liga.

The move has not been welcomed well with Madrid fans and some even question whether Ancelotti would have still been in charge at the Bernabeu this season without Di María efforts at the Champions League final.

There is no question that James Rodriguez will become that decisive player for Madrid, whether that will be this season or next season we will have to wait and see but the reality is that for now Di María can offer more than James on the pitch. If used well, Di María can transform Manchester United and there is no doubt United has acquired the player of high calibre.

La Liga will miss you, El Fideo.

Omari Kaseko is a Television Producer and lover of football with a passion for writing about European football. Omari is based in Washington D.C. Follow Omar Kaseko on Twitter @Omar_Kaseko or email him directly at omarykaseko@gmail.com.
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